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TOI - Parrikar wants Goa to be No 1 animal friendly state; activists elated

Parrikar wants Goa to be No 1 animal friendly state; activists elated By Vijay Singh <>, TNN | Nov 22, 2012, 06.24 PM IST

PANJIM/GOA: As the chief minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar <>, became a rare politician to stand up for the 'voteless' animals and declare that he wants to see Goa as the Number One animal friendly state in India, elated animal rights activists at the 'India For Animals 2012' conference want Maharashtra and the rest to also follow suit and enforce animal protection laws.

Speaking at the three-day conference organised by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) at Panjim from November 16-18, Parrikar stressed that he strongly supported animals rights and that within one year Goa will be the foremost animal friendly state''.

I believe in action,'' added Parrikar amid applause from the collective activist audience at the famous Don Bosco auditorium. Over 200 delegates of various animal rights NGOs from India and abroad have come to beach haven to discuss the serious and disturbing rise in cases of animal cruelties.

Mumbai based delegates from Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA), Thane based Plants and Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD), In Defense of Animals (IDA) and Thane SPCA opined that Maharashtra too must take a cue from Parrikar's statement.

I think Goa has taken an important step to battle various animal rights violations. While most politicians are more concerned with other particularly deal with voters and citizens alike, our leaders must realise that as humans, people are concerned with the way our animals are treated. And it is the government who can help in enforcing these laws,'' said Arpan Sharma, chief executive officer of FIAPO.

Activist N Jayasimha of Humane Society International (HSI) also gave a talk on sorry state in which animals like cattle are cruelly and illegally transported by road to various slaughterhouses, with officials at Toll plazas turning a blind eye to such atrocities.

Some of the bullocks and buffalos just can't bear the pain of being packed like sardines with others in trucks and tempos, and collapse and die en route even before reaching the abattoirs,'' said Jayasimha.

Lynn D'Souza, founder of Goa SPCA, spoke about the influence of media towards this cause, and how even everyday bloggers and Twitter/Facebook users are also part of the media in the important Internet space to highlight various animal rights issues.

This conference has thrown light on several loopholes in enforcement of animal rights; we are now encouraged to write to our Maharashtra CM, Prithviraj Chavan, to do something similar as promised by the neighbouring Goa state towards animals,'' said Mumbai based Lt Colonel J C Khanna of BSPCA. Popular actress from South, Amala Akkineni, who is the founder of Blue Cross Hyderabad, commented: I had rescued my first stray animal at the age of six; and I am happy that our Blue Cross continues helping all animals.'' Two journalists of Times Group - Vijay Singh <>(TOI, Mumbai) and Sunil Dogra (Navbharat Times, Delhi) - received a joint award in media category for covering animal rights issues.

*Other award winners were N G Jayasimha of HSI for 'advocacy and leadership'; Dawn Williams for 'cruelty response'; E Damodar and Raman Kumar for 'humane law enforcer'; Avis Lyons <> for 'outstanding services to animals'; Nilesh Bhanage of PAWS for 'volunteer relations award' and finally Vasanthi Kumar and WSPA for 'outreach for animals'. * The UK based activist of World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA) Ian Cawsey <> told TOI that it is appalling to note that while various Mumbai housing societies kill dogs through poisoning and other means, developed countries like China and Korea still eat dog meat.

Dogs are actually useful as human companions, not as dead meat or simply dead. For those who kill them in Mumbai and other cities thinking that it will prevent Rabies, they are wrong. It is scientifically proven that sterlisation and vaccination are the best way to avoid it,'' said Cawsey. Media can play a crucial role in sensitising our society to various animal atrocities that often go unnoticed. Korea actually started eating dogs only after World War-2, when there was a food shortage. They should not stop this practice as there are now various other healthy vegetarian food options,'' he added.

When asked why there is a strong anti-animals sentiment among various sections and even leading countries like China, Cawsey commented: Ultimately, through raised awareness, people will realise what is good and healthy for them and our environment. WSPA is also for this cause.''

-- Regards,

Nilesh Bhanage Founder - PAWS Helpline +91 9820161114 (9AM to 9PM)
"Hands that help are holier than lips that pray"

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