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COMMITTED TO ANIMAL WELFARE Kim Barlett
COMMITTED TO ANIMAL WELFARE Kim Barlett

Meet Kim Bartlett, publisher of Animal People, the world's most widely circulated newspaper covering animal-related issues

You can't doubt Kim Bartlett's commitment to animal welfare. She is the publisher of Animal People, the world's most widely circulated newspaper dealing with animal-related issues. Ten issues come out in a year, and every time, over 15,000 copies are sent to many parts of the world. And, the newspaper is also a fine example of investigative journalism.Except for the editorial team based in Clinton, Washington, Animal People relies on a loosely formed group. Volunteers, aware of the cruelty to animals taking place in their areas, write reports for Animal People. But Bartlett and Merritt Clifton, who is editor of the newspaper, always try to hire news gatherers. They believe in providing the volunteers with a salary, especially when they come from developing countries. "The writers can spend more time on their assignments if they did not have to work elsewhere for a salary," says Bartlett, who was in Chennai recently for the Asia For Animals 2007 conference.Animal People depends on donations for survival. Although there is a nominal subscription fee, many of the copies are given away to NGOs and activists working for animal welfare.Working for Animal People often means going on undercover operations. "Kartick Satyanarayan, who is doing tremendous work rescuing dancing bears, was attacked during an investigative job," says Bartlett, who has been luckier. She has flirted with danger on a few occasions, but "nobody has threatened my life."Animal People devotes lot of space to scholarly articles meant to influence State policy. It is credited with popularising the Animal Birth Control programme devised by the Blue Cross of India. Many countries adopted the model, based on the explanatory pieces that appeared in the paper. As far as animal welfare goes, Bartlett thinks India has always been showing the way to the West. "Animal welfare is not a Western idea; it was born in India. When the British came to India, they were introduced to the principle of ahimsa. Through them, this idea spread to other countries. The `The Bloodless Revolution' talks about how the whole thing began in India."The newspaper can be accessed in pdf, at animalpeoplenews.org.PRINCE FREDERICK

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