‘They should coordinate with authorities to get results’
Animal rights’ organisations need to be more proactive, unified and prudent in their long and continuous fight for the rights of animals, said the former Union Minister and animal rights activist, Maneka Gandhi.
Speaking at a talk organised by the People for Animals in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, she highlighted the fact that most groups failed to forge alliances with police personnel or local leaders.
“There is a tendency to treat those in authority as an enemy but with that mindset you are not going to get anywhere. All movements are run on such alliances,” she told the participants, most of whom were part of welfare groups in the city. “The MP from here, Shashi Tharoor, is a good man. Meet him, talk to him, and give him a petition. You risk losing a good ally if you pretend not to know him,” she said.
She began her talk by highlighting the importance of protecting every animal. She spoke of the plague in Surat as a result of a decision by the local authority to kill all stray dogs.
The ecological balance, she warned, was lost and if Kerala continued to kill the strays rather than actively begin the sterilisation process, the rat population would multiply and lead to a similar situation. She also described how the extermination of the Dodo affected the culture of Mauritius.
“Every district needs a proactive animal welfare group and shelters to effectively carry out sterilisation of dogs,” said Ms. Gandhi. She also spoke about how people who look after dogs in an area can avail colony caretaker cards being issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India.
Activists also need to keep a careful watch for experimentation or dissection of animals being done in educational institutions and of misuse of animals in the media. It is illegal, she stressed. In case of unqualified veterinarians, people need to know that they can complain to the Veterinary Council of India, she added.
Snake expert Vava Suresh and poet B. Sugathakumari were also present during the function.