Sunday, 17 March 2013

Human system more attuned to vegetarian diet, says seer

ALLAHABAD: The Kriyayoga practice points out that mature (ripe) grains, seeds and fruits are the food best suited for human beings given their consumption and digestion needs and structure. The human eyes, ears, teeth and tongue and length of the digestive tract shows that humans are basically frugivorous (consumers of fruits and seeds) in nature. Canine teeth, very well developed in carnivores (meat-eaters and predators), are rudimentary in human beings.
Human eyes do not like to see slaughtering of animals, and ears do not like the cry of animals, neither can the tongue appreciate the taste of meat thrown on the street. They never enjoy chewing the bones scattered at the bank of rivers or in the forest whereas carnivorous animals enjoy chewing the bones as if it were delicious candy. Human beings can enjoy fruits found on the ground but would never appreciate consuming scattered decaying meat left on the side of a road. These were the insights into humans and their food habits by international spiritual leader Swami Shree Yogi Satyam who delivered his message to pilgrims attending the Kriyayoga Camp at Mukti Marg in Kumbh Mela. He stated that humans enjoy non-vegetarian food only when it is fried or mixed with certain spices to mask their taste. Carnivores enjoy even rotten and putrefied meat.
He added that the length of the digestive tract in carnivores is short compared to human beings, whereas the digestive tract of herbivores is much longer compared to carnivores and human beings.
Observation shows that herbivores are meant to eat grasses and stems of plants. Carnivores are made to eat meat while human beings are structured biologically to eat fruits and seeds. In herbivores, the longer digestive tract is suitable to digest and absorb grasses and stems. If herbivores are fed a good quantity of fruits and seeds they get sick. In the same way, the digestive tract of carnivores is fit to digest meat and animal parts.
Animal products, meat and organs should not remain in the digestive system for a long time to avoid growth of harmful bacteria and viruses. Carnivores, therefore, have a shorter digestive tract compared to herbivores and humans.
Humans have started eating wrong foods due to inhuman and unnatural thoughts. All thoughts and ideas which create segregation are unnatural thoughts. These can be erased through constant practice of Kriyayoga meditation.
The consumption of vegetarian food has been accepted more in western countries as research studies prove that eating meat and dairy products leads to illnesses in particular heart disease and cancer.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Want to adopt a vegan lifestyle?

From Natalie Portman to Beyonce and Chris Martin, several celebs are advocating veganism. Are we ready for it?
Veganism is slowly gaining ground as a lifestyle choice. It's finding strong support, notwithstanding the debate that surrounds it. Here's more on the subject...

Veganism vs vegetarianism
It's the practice of is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet. Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. Vegans, in addition to being vegetarian, do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.

Does it work for everyone?
Yes, you need not have a certain body type or physicalframe to follow this diet.

Clothing is going vegan too!
Being vegan is not just in diet, but also excludes animal products from one's clothing, cosmetics, household goods and things used everyday. Of these, clothing choices is gaining ground. People opt for cotton and synthetics. Leather or silk is an absolute no-no.

What meals comprise of 
The debate:
Those in favour of this regime maintain that animal products are toxic for the body. They say plant foods provide adequate amounts of minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. An expert says it lowers cholesterol levels and vegans have fewer indigestion problems. The diet thus offers cardiovascular benefits. Since it includes fruit, vegetables, whole grains and unprocessed foods it is believed to be more nutritious.

Another doctor argues that the human body is designed to eat meat and underlines the importance of it. He says meat is a huge source of protein, iron, minerals and calcium. Experts also say this eating pattern allows no room for an intake of vitamin B12. Unfortunately for vegans, the only source of B12 is only via a supplement. One way out is to separate meat eating from fat on the meat. Pediatric doctors also maintain a vegan ideal is not ideal for kids as it offers less energy.

A dating site for vegans
If you're following the vegan pattern of eating and want to only meet someone who does similarly, it's now possible. Sites dedicated to vegetarians and vegans are increasingly popping up. So, if you want to find a vegan mate, chances are you can do so! Happy hunting!

Vegan weddings on the rise
Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied had a vegan wedding and recently, actress Anne Hathaway who wed jewellery designer Adam Shulman had a reception with complete vegan menu. More and more people are also choosing to go meatless and dairy-less at a
wedding. Brides are opting to wear richer cottons and synthetic silks instead of silk. The menus too, are
following vegan pattern. Will vegan style weddings overthrow the usual trend here too?

Tips for going vegan:
Instead of ...
Meat: Use mock meat, tofu, soya chunks or soya mince, mushrooms or root vegetables. Mock meat such as faux chicken, mutton, fish and more can be used.
Ghee or butter: Use vegetable oils instead of ghee. Instead of butter, cook with vegetable margarines and oils.
Eggs in baking: Use self-rising flour, which is available in the market. Tofu, bananas, applesauce, pumpkin, squash, prunes and mashed potatoes are all good egg substitutes, depending on the nature of the dish.
Milk: Almond, coconut or soya milk can be used instead.

Heat the oil in and add the mushrooms to it. Sprinkle salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes. Pour the coconut cream over this. Now add the water and spring onion and cook further for a few minutes. Serve with rice.

The actress is a huge advocate of veganism and a site quotes her as saying, "Once I became vegan, my nails were stronger, my skin was glowing, I lost a lot of weight... Going vegan is the single best thing I've done in my life." Silverstone has also written a book on the subject and launched her own site to go with it.

The R n B singer is said to keep her pregnancy weight away by having one vegan meal a day. She had admitted in an interview that she avoids eating animal products to maintain her fit, post-baby body. According to a magazine, even during her pregnancy she and hubby Jay-Zboth stuck to a 'partially-vegan' diet to stay healthy.

Chris Martin
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and his actress wife Gwyneth Paltrow, are known for their love of vegan cuisine. So much so, that he apparently even provided a healthier alternative to the traditional birthday cake for his daughter Apple's first birthday in 2005. This was an apple cake made at a vegan eatery!

Natalie Portman
The Oscar-winning actress has been a vegetarian since childhood and she is said to have adopted veganism after reading the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Natalie now doesn't eat or wear any animal products, and even launched her own vegan shoe line. Quite impressive!

Pamela Anderson
Model and actress Pamela Anderson who became a vegetarian as a teenager, regularly stands up for animal rights. A site quotes her having admitted that she feels better on a vegan diet. She switched to a vegan diet an and credited the plant-based eating plan for helping her stay fit.

Tobey Maguire
Actor Tobey Maguire is said to have banned all leather from his house too! He is a supporter of healthy vegetarian options for school lunches and takes a strict adherence to eating this way. Word also has it that for his role as Spiderman, he bulked up by eating lots of tofu.

3 animal rights activists from Navi Mumbai feliciated

MUMBAI: Three brave Navi Mumbai based women who are fighting for animal rights against all odds, were among those honoured with Women Achievers Awards at Powai on the eve of International Women's Day on Thursday.
The three activists - Aditi Lahiri, Roshni Majumdar and Rinki Banerji - were awarded for their animal welfare work in Navi Mumbai at the function organised by Young Environmentalists Programme Trust.
Lahiri has been helping stray animals in the satellite city for over 10 years despite suffering from cancer, while Majumdar is a young MBA student who was beaten up and molested by local goons in Sanpada for feeding an injured stray dog last year.
Rinki Banerji was recently assaulted by a mob of animal-haters in New Panvel where she had gone to protect the stray dogs.
Some of the other awardees at the event were theatre personality Dolly Thakore, actor and TV host Sophia Hayat, activist Abha Singh, disabled yet successful working woman Preeti Sagotra, author Kiran Manral, classical musician Sunita Bhuyan, lawyer Rita Abraham, social service person Dr Mithu Alur and Miss Universe contestant Shilpa Singh among others.
Talking to TOI, Majumdar said: "In June last year, six youngsters had attacked me and my cousin in Sanpada just because I used to feed a disabled stray dog. I got these goons arrested, but unfortunately, a false police complaint was also lodged against my cousin to harass us further."
Organiser Elsie Gabriel of YEPT added: "Along with Mazumdar, even Banerji is very brave to fight back an angry mob in New Panvel for the rights of animals. Hats off to all the three ladies."
In all, 23 women from different social spheres and activities were honoured at Rodas ecotel in Powai.
"It is tough to fight for stray dogs and cats, as many housing societies are openly hostile towards animals, and even poison them to death. We need proper animal centres to do effective sterilisations of the strays. However, compassion must be shown by all individuals towards the mute animals," added Lahiri.
Uncle had sexually abused me: Sophia Hayat
The glamorous actress and TV show host, Sophia Hayat, revealed her dark and disturbing past about child sex abuse. When I was only 10, my uncle had sexually abused me. I want to tell everyone that behind this glamour doll image of mine lurks a disturbed childhood,'' said Sophia at the function in Powai.
She later told TOI, Through my story, I want to reach out to all the young girls who may be in a similar situation; in order to help them fight back against such horrid sex pests and assaulters.''
Sophia also mentioned that this childhood incident of hers did affect her in many ways, but now she is happy to have come out of it in a positive way to contribute to the society, especially other minor girls, who can also be in a vulnerable situation.
Daniel Chatterton of Green-team Rodas, commented: It is wonderful to welcome achievers who inspire. By sharing their success more women will reach for the stars." The theme of the event was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy: 'Be the change that you would like to see'.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

HC gives green signal for tail docking, ear cropping of pet dogs

Docking the tail or cropping the ears of your pet dog does not amount to mutilation and cannot be treated as cruelty to the animal, the Madras High Court has ruled.
The court also ruled that neither the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) nor the Veterinary Council of India has any authority to prohibit registered veterinarians from performing tail docking and ear cropping of certain breeds of pet dogs such as Doberman, Cocker Spaniel, Great Danes and Boxer at the request of their owners.
Allowing a writ petition filed by Kennel Club of India (KCI), Justice D. Hariparanthaman quashed a notice issued by the veterinary council on November 11, 2011, directing all registered veterinarians in the country to stop forthwith the practice of performing the two surgical procedures on pups. The notice had warned the veterinarians of stringent action if they were found to be continuing the practice.
It was issued on the basis of a letter written to the council by the AWBI Chairman who had opined that the surgical procedures cause mutilation and therefore amount to violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act 1960.
The chairman had also claimed that many countries including the United Kingdom had banned the two surgical procedures.
Assailing the notice, KCI contended that the two surgical procedures actually make the dogs look good and stay alert besides preventing ear infection and injuries on the tails.
Further, drawing an analogy, the petitioner club said that the chairman’s view was akin to declaring as illegal the act of people choosing to perform circumcision and piercing the ears and noses of their newborn children.
After recording submissions made by both sides, the judge said that tail docking and ear cropping would not amount to mutilating the pets and therefore dog lovers or owners could not be accused of such an offence.
Though the term ‘mutilation’ had not been defined under the PCA Act, the judge relied on the meanings found in various dictionaries to arrive at the conclusion.
Not wanting to go into the correctness of articles and books written about the two surgical procedures, Mr. Justice Hariparanthaman pointed out that the procedures were only regulated and not prohibited in the UK. The AWBI and the veterinary council had not disputed the fact that dogs belonging to the police department were also subjected to ear cropping and tail docking.
He stated that the notice under challenge was bad in law as the AWBI’s statutory role was restricted to advising the Centre. It was up to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to give effect to the advice by invoking its rule making power under Section 38 of the PCA Act. But no such rule had been framed with regard to the present issue.
To make things worse, the veterinary council had issued the notice on the basis of a letter written by the AWBI’s chairman alone and not the Board as such.
“In my view, the AWBI is different from chairman… Section 9 of the Act contemplates providing of advice by AWBI and not by the chairman… Hence, the advisory of the chairman cannot be treated as the decision of AWBI,” the judge added.

Imran Khan all set to open animal shelter
Imran Khan's love for rescuing strays is known. The actor is so passionate about the cause that he, along with his mother Nuzhat and wife Avantika Malik, work dedicatedly towards rescuing stray dogs and cats, trying to put them up for adoption.
Now, the actor intends to take his passion to the next level and has bought a few acres on the outskirts of Mumbai, where the rescued animals will be kept till someone is ready to adopt them รข€” or for life if need be.
A source says, "The star has purchased close to four acres and he will convert this into an animal shelter. He has plans to hire in-house veterinary doctors and staff who will attend to the rescued animals."
When asked if this was true, Imran said, "This is a cause that resonates with me. If I didn't do this, there would be no me. I'm that passionate about it."
He refrains from speaking about the animal shelter as yet, because plans are still underway. However, even as we speak, Imran has five cats and one dog at his Pali Hill residence and all of them have either been picked up from the street or brought to him by friends and neighbours who know the animals will find care.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Women beat up activist over feeding stray dogs

NAVI MUMBAI: Animal activist Rinki Banerjee (30), on Thursday, lodged a non-cognizable complaint against a group of women, who allegedly beat her up for supporting the cause of feeding stray dogs in Sector 11 at the New Panvel police station.

On Thursday, Banerjee went to Sector 11 after resident Sandhya Parekh informed her that locals were not allowing her to feed strays. "The women, who claimed to be from a political party, surrounded me. One of the women pulled my hair and started slapping me, while others egged her on," said Banerjee. "When I started hitting the woman back, they retreated".

Parekh said: "The locals must realise that it is our constitutional right to feed animals."

The women have lodged a cross-NC against Parekh for encouraging "dog menace" in the area. Health officer of Cidco N R Parab admitted that the women were wrong in beating up the activist. "They had complained to Cidco about a few strays. We had taken two dogs to our kennel; will sterilize them and release them in the area," Parab said.

Meanwhile, the stray puppy, which was found dead in Vijay Nagari Annex Housing Society in Thane on January 26, was punched to death.

"The Thane police has to collect the post-mortem report from the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals," said Bhawanji Chhadwa of Sadbhavna Charitable Trust.He added that the mouth of the puppy was stuffed with a cloth in order to muffle its cries of pain. I hope that the police catch the cruel culprit soon, as this harmless pup has suffered a painful death,'' added Chhadwa. TOI had first mentioned about this stray puppy earlier this week.

Animals are more scared of us than we are of them, says Vidya Athreya
PUNE: Citizens should be more sensitive to animals living in close proximity to human habitation and chasing or beating them will only force the animals to retaliate, urged wildlife biologist, Vidya Athreya on Wednesday.
Athreya who works at the Wildlife Conservation Society of India was speaking at the conference 'Jungle Lore', organised as part of the ongoing 7th Kirloskar Vasundhara international film festival.
Addressing the gathering, Athreya said that incidents like the recent case of a leopard injuring a villager in Shelarwadi, Dehu road cantonment area can be avoided with correct handling of the situation. "Animals are more scared of us than we are of them. Research says that if we don't trouble them, they will not trouble us," she said.
Lauding the tolerance of the people in rural areas for having co-existed with animals for centuries, Athreya said that chasing away animals with sticks, or crowding around them is what makes them retaliate. It's best to walk away, when an animal is sighted, she said.
The conference also had a session on eco-tourism and challenges which was addressed by Nitin Kakodkar, chief conservator of forests (education and training). Kakodkar underlined the need to involve the locals and every other stake holder in conservation and promotion of such sites.
He stressed on the need to educate local populations on the benefits of eco-tourism, including generation of employment and increasing revenue to improve their standard of living.
The day-long conference also had a session on joint forest management with a case study of Sakude village (Purandar taluka) presented by committee president, Suresh Saste. Pramod Patil who works for the conservation of the Great Indian Bustard addressed a session on the initiatives being taken for conserving the birds, while conservationist Sanjay Rahangdale spoke on floral diversity of Junnar taluka with special reference to Ceropegias.
Prachi Mehta of Wildlife Research and Conservation Society suggested simple measures for better management of animal-human conflicts, in order to protect crops from animal destruction, with a special reference to elephants have made their way from Karnataka into Maharashtra.
Jungle Lore, organized with a larger objective of involving the youth and nature lovers in environment conservation also had an interactive session on careers in the field and forest departments.
The conference concluded with the felicitation of three Indian Forest Service (IFS) guards for their contribution towards environment conservation.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Bihar grants permission to kill rampaging neelgais

PATNA: Upset with the rampaging neelgai (blue bull) devastating the crop fields, just pick the licensed gun and shoot the animal down. It's now official.

In bid to ward off the increasing menace of neelgai damaging the standing crops in certain parts of Bihar, the Bihar State Wildlife Boardhas decided to give this permission to the affected farmers who have licensed arms. The matter came up at the meeting of the board, chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar.

The board, showing its concern over the growing menace and damage of hectares of crops, took this decision. Permission will be granted in those areas where the problem has become quite serious.

Under the provision, the farmers who will kill neelgai will also be compensated with the cost of the cartridges fired to kill neelgai at the rate of Rs 500 per cartridge and also Rs 1,000 for the burial of the animal, said forest and environment department secretary Deepak Kumar Singh. "This permission has been given to protect the standing crops and scare away the animals," Singh said. The recommendations of the board will be sent to the cabinet for approval.

Singh was however, not very sure if the farmers would be able to shoot down neelgai since this animal of antelope family runs very fast. He recalled that a few months back a neelgai entered the Gaya airport but despite free permission it could not be killed.

The board has also decided to enhance the compensation for death and injury to human beings due to wild animals' attack as well as for the loss of crops. The compensation for death due to attack by wild animals has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. The decision was taken in the light of the central government enhancing the compensation.

However, during the past few years very few incidents of such deaths have been reported.

Similarly, in the wake of serious and simple injury, damage to pucca or clay house and also the damage to standing crops by the wild animals the compensation amount will be increased as compared to the prevalent rates, as per the decision of the meeting.

The meeting also decided to constitute committees under the DMs to check the damage of the standing crop on large scale by the neelgai. The committees will have forest divisional officers, district agriculture officers, district animal husbandry officers and all the divisional officers as members. The committees will evaluate the damage of the standing crops by the wild animals particularly neelgai and look into the complaints by the affected farmers.

The wildlife board was of the opinion that the skills and services of several sub-castes like snake charmers, madari, kalandar and others which depend on their traditional profession to eke out a living should be utilized in some other areas so that their dependency on the traditional professions could be minimized.

It was directed that a survey of these social groups should be conducted in bid to utilize their services in wildlife protection and link them with alternative profession and rehabilitate them.

Glass-coated manjha proves deadly for birds

JAIPUR: Clear skies, mild weather and a holiday may be perfect for people to take to flying kites but it proved fatal for the winged creatures.

With each and every passing hour on Sunday, the casualty for birds increased despite animal rights activists working hard to minimize the death toll. During Makar Sankranti, people fly kites by the thousands. Unfortunately, they use glass-coated thread (manjha) to fly the kites and birds get entangled leading to cuts, damaged wings and nerve injuries. The animal activists are leaving no stone unturned to help the injured birds during this period.

Figures coming in from different animal right groups said nearly 80 casualties were reported. These groups have received around 200 calls seeking help for birds during the day mostly from the Walled City and other densely populated areas. Makeshift hospitals and camps are set up at Raja Park, Ramnivas Garden, Amrapali Circle and Gopalpura to treat the birds. The volunteers include veterinary doctors, students, professionals and general public.

These groups have been distributing their helpline numbers to reach out to people so that any bird casualty can be reported. Dr Vikas Sharma, veterinarian and head of Environment and Wildlife Care Society (EWCS) said, "We appeal to the people not to fly kites with glass-coated manja. And if they do, at least keep the helpline numbers handy so that our volunteers can reach out to the affected birds."

Among the injured reported on Sunday were peacocks, eagles, parrots, parakeets and many pigeons. Sahil Singhal, secretary of the People for Animals, said, "As the awareness on the helpline numbers and camps are rising, the calls are increasing and so do the casualties."

A maximum number of injured birds died due to lack of proper medical facilities. People overlook the injured birds as they do not have proper knowledge about the treatment. The groups also appealed to the callers that they should monitor the injured bird till the volunteers come as in most cases birds either become prey to dogs or disappears.

The loud music from the past two days is also causing severe problem to birds and animals. Most birds and animals, especially dogs and cats, are highly sensitive to sound. "Any loud sound becomes unbearable for them especially during morning and evening hours. Many birds lost track of their habitat due to the music," Sharma added.

Tigress slain, shooter sobs

Nagpur, Jan. 12: A tigress that killed five women in less than a month in Maharashtra was put down this afternoon but the commando who pulled the trigger later cried in a poignant footnote to a mysterious conflict.
“It was such a majestic tigress,” Suresh Atram, a commando of the elite C-60 anti-Naxalite force, said over phone. “I feel like I’ve committed a sin,” added Atram, a tribal.

The forest officials were surprised that it was a full-grown tigress about four years old. Through the week-long hunt, the officials and independent experts had assumed the animal was a sub-adult that probably could not hunt from the way it was selectively killing human beings, all of them frail-looking women.

The experts will now have to try to find answers for the tigress’s weird behaviour.
Its victims were women from villages near the Navegaon reserve forest in Gondia district — one was killed in the protected area — where a tiger has not been spotted in years. The tigress was shot near Sonjhari Malda village, about 25km from the Navegaon forest and 150km from Nagpur.

“I am extremely sad that I had to kill a tiger as part of my duty,” said Atram, who has served for many years in the strife-torn Gadchiroli district but was handpicked for this assignment. He heads the C-60 unit in nearby Bhandara.
An ardent devotee of Sai Baba of Shirdi, Atram said he could not stop himself from crying after killing the animal. “We tried our best to tranquillise it but could not.”

The commando said he had to open fire when the beast came charging at them. “It had come so close that there was no option left,” Atram said. On January 4, after the tigress had killed its fifth victim, orders were issued to shoot it if it could not be captured. Ten teams were then formed to track it down and anti-Naxalite commandos inducted.

“It dodged three to four tranquilliser darts,” wildlife conservationist Sawan Bahekar said over phone. Then the commandos fired three to four bullets, but it escaped unhurt. A shot that the officials said Atram fired from an AK-47 rifle hours later finally brought the tigress down.

Villagers had spotted the tigress on Thursday after it killed a calf and dragged its carcass into the shrubs. This morning, its image was captured in a camera trap mounted near the kill.

The tigress returned to its kill around 9am, Bahekar said. After a four-hour effort, when the tigress charged at a machaan (platform)the commando pulled the trigger.

“She was 20 metres from us,” Bahekar said. The first shot hit the cat. Eight more rounds were fired by two commandos.“Each one of us was in tears,” Bahekar said. It was not something they would be proud of.

42 pigs rescued in daring night chase

MAPUSA: About 42 pigs being illegally transported to Goa from Belgaum in a pickup were rescued near Mapusa by two animal welfare activists in a daring mission at 1.30am on Thursday.
Having received a tip-off, John Fernandes and Mahadev Mestri of the Animal Rescue Squad set off on a motorbike for the 'Goa-Mumbai' NH 17, looking for a Karnataka-registered vehicle.
Near Hotel Green Park they saw the pickup heading towards Panaji and heard the grunting of pigs. Following the vehicle, they got it to stop by stopping their own motorbike right in front of it.
"We asked the driver for the permit to transport the pigs. He didn't have one and instead offered us a bribe," claimed Fernandes.
The duo called the police who arrested the driver and the two helpers-all Karnataka natives-and rescued the pigs. Sources said the pigs were headed to a slaughterhouse in Saligao.
Describing the "horrid" conditions under which the pigs were being transported, Fernandes said, "The pickup was divided into two sections and the upper section alone had 25 pigs. The condition was unhygienic and so crammed that one pig had died during the journey."
He stressed that the law does not permit the carrying of so many pigs in such constrained conditions.
Police sources corroborated this, saying the transportation was in violation of provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the Transport of Animals Rules, 1978, and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
"The law requires that those transporting pigs should have a licence to do so. It is also illegal to transport pigs in a vehicle that has not been properly constructed to carry them," an animal activist later explained.
The arrested trio are under police custody.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Animal-attack spots to be identified

MALAPPURAM: As man-animal conflicts occur on a more or less regular basis at areas bordering forests across the state, Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) plans to identify locations that are vulnerable to attacks of wild animals.
The special research group of the institute will study the types of animals which are straying into human habitations, the nature of attacks, the human loss, cattle loss and crop loss in attacks, the specifications of the locations, the elements that are attracting animals into the particular areas, including the availability of water and the nature of crops in the region. The study would be conducted with the help of the official records and field study on the incidents of man-animal conflicts occurred across the state during the last ten years.
The study will help to identify the issues of each region and to plan the preventive measures exclusively for each location. Dr E A James, scientist, Wild Life Department, KFRI, who is heading the study team said that the majority of the issues were local ones and they could not deal all the issues on the basis of same parameteres.
The team will collect details of each incident from public and also from the officials. "We need location oriented data. The issues in Wayanad are different from the issues in Idukki or Thrissur. We have to identify the real reason behind each issue," he said.
In the beginning, the research group will collect the details of the incidents of straying of wild animals into the human habitation included in the records of forest department for the last ten years and also collect information directly from public of each panchayat in these districts.
The research group has already started the study in Thrissur, Palakkad and Malappuram districts. In Thrissur, the team has found that 32 incidents of attacks of wild elephants have been reported in the district during last three years. Wild boars also pose a major threat to the farm lands in the district. The research group has also looking at effective methods to prevent animals straying into human habitations.

“Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act will be amended to give more teeth”

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act will be amended to make its provisions more stringent, said Jayanthi Natarajan, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest, at the golden jubilee celebration of the Animal Welfare Board of India here on Saturday.
She said the government would take steps to pass the amended act before the budget session of the parliament. Otherwise an ordinance would be passed in this regard, she assured the animal welfare organisations at the two-day seminar.

Compassion was the integral part of a civilised society but sadly man-animal conflict was on the rise. In Jammu and Kashmir, a bear, that strayed into human habitation was burnt alive by a group of people. They clapped their hands and enjoyed the death of the animal. Similarly in Kerala, an old tiger was killed by officials despite the fact that it was too weak to kill its prey. In both the cases the Minister said she had sent strong letters to the Chief Ministers concerned condemning the attitude of the people and the officials towards the animals. The Ministry would not tolerate such acts of cruelty. The Ministry would deregister laboratories if they violated the norms with regard to use of animals for experimentation, she said.

Talking about the appointment of animal welfare officers in every police station to curb cruelty to animals, she lamented that none of the states showed any interest, despite the fact that the officers were sponsored by the Animal Welfare Board of India. A total of 2,900 recognised animal welfare organisations were receiving financial grants from the Board. Now the Board is planning to rope in corporate sector to provide financial support to take up certain animal welfare activities, she added. 

Governor K. Rosaiah said the animals had made immense contribution from time immemorial for the welfare of humans. “In India we have a rich tradition of ahimsa and non violence towards all creatures. Man’s survival on this planet depends on maintaining the delicate balance in the co-existence of man and animal. We worship nature and festivals also remind us to show our gratitude to the animals.” Indian Overseas Bank Chairman and Managing Director Narendra, Animal Welfare Board of India Chairman retired major general R.M. Kharb and Vice-Chairman AWBI S. Chinni Krishna were among those who spoke.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

India likely to impose blanket ban on testing cosmetics on animals

NEW DELHI: India in a landmark move is planning to impose a blanket ban on testing cosmetics on animals. 

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BSI) is revising the standard IS 4011 — the method of safety testing for cosmetics. 

Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) Dr G N Singh told TOI that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) is examining the feasibility of banning animal testing of cosmetics. 

Dr Singh met MP and animal activist Maneka Gandhi last week to discuss the legislation. Dr Singh said, "Several developed countries have put in rules that ban testing cosmetics on animals. We are thoroughly examining them. We don't want to be cruel to animals. If other countries don't allow it, we will also ban animal testing of cosmetics. The decision will follow a through examination and a strong scientific examination." 

Gandhi has sent a letter to the DCGI giving scientific evidence supporting a ban on animal testing. 

The letter, written on December 18, said, "on a priority, we as a nation need to go cruelty free as far as testing cosmetics are concerned." 

Gandhi said that the European Union (EU) has with the 7th amendment of the cosmetic directive prohibited testing of finished cosmetic products from September, 2004. She also cited that testing cosmetics on animals has also not been required by the US FDA. In spite of this, the BIS standards' draft includes two painful tests on animals. 

"Again the testing and marketing ban on ingredients came into force on March, 2009, in the EU for all human health effects with the exception of three animal tests - repeated dose toxicity, reproductive toxicity and texicokinetics. For these specific health effects the marketing ban will also apply from March 11, 2013, irrespective of the availability of alternative non-animal tests. Hence, testing on animals has become completely illegal in the EU for cosmetics," the letter said. 

Gandhi said this is undoubtedly going to affect the country, given the large export market of Indian herbal cosmetics to the EU. 

The letter added, "It is important that India acts. Harmonization of India's regulation with that of Europe's cosmetics regulation will ensure an immediate upgrade of India's safety standards in cosmetics testing using non-animal methods." 

Gandhi said the DCGI has the power to amend rule 150-A in the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, "and the easiest way would be that you amend it to be harmonized with EU cosmetics legislation of November 30, 2009". 

The Union health ministry has made it mandatory for the registration of all cosmetics ranging from skin care and hair care products that are imported from April 1, 2013. 

The requirement was originally planned to come into force from October 1, 2012. 

Dr Singh said, "If animal testing of cosmetics isn't mandatory by either the US FDA or the EU, it seems unnecessary for India to have them at all." 

The DCGI is setting up a separate cell to monitor important and distribution of the cosmetic industry. 

As per the guidelines, each cosmetic category-like lipstick, mascara, tooth pastes and soaps will carry a registration fee of $250. 

A violation of the rules will result in both penalty in the form of fines and jail term. 

Around 61% of the dermatological market in India consists of skin lightening products. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned that the serious adverse effects of inorganic mercury, which is a common ingredient found in skin lightening soaps and creams, includes kidney damage, reduction in the skin's resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, anxiety, depression or psychosis and also peripheral neuropathy. 

The global health watchdog pointed out that mercury in soaps and creams is eventually discharged into wastewater. The mercury, then, enters environment, where it becomes methylated, and enters the food chain as highly toxic methylmercury in fish. Pregnant women who consume fish containing methylmercury transfer the mercury to their fetuses that can later result in neurological deficits in children. 

WHO said skin-lightening soaps and creams are commonly used Asian nations. 

"Some manufacturers are no longer using mercury as a preservative in mascara and eye makeup cleansing products as a result of consumer pressure. However, most jurisdictions still allow the sale of makeup products containing mercury compounds. The soaps contain approximately 1%-3% mercury iodide, and the creams are composed of 1%-10% mercury ammonium," WHO said.