Achievements of Blue Cross of India

Since 1964, Blue Cross of India has many achievements in being the voice for the voiceless. We have initiated and won on many fronts of Animal Welfare and Animal rights like:

Course In Wild Avian Management

(From the newsletter dated March 1999)

Dr. Andrew Routh, Consultant to the RSPCA, UK, conducted a four-day program for veterinary surgeons at the Blue Cross from February 10 to 13, 1999. 11 veterinary surgeons and 3 biologists from zoos in Tamilnadu and Kerala and from the Tamilnadu Veterinary University as well as the Veterinarians from the Blue Cross and PFA participated. The feedback from the participants was very positive. This program was the outcome of efforts made by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of the Government of India.

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Animal Experimentation Rules

(From the newsletter dated March 1999)

The Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules (1998) have been gazetted and are applicable from the 15th of December 1998. Under these rules, all places where animal experiments are carried out must be registered with the Government as must all experimental animal breeding establishments.

The Blue Cross has been fighting for the enactment of suitable legislation for experimental animals for thirty four years and has seen several Committees come and go with no worthwhile steps being taken to control , what is probably the greatest organized cruelty inflicted on animals.

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Banning of Dissection

Blue of India Achievements: Animal Dissection Ban(From the Annual Report dated March 31, 1998)

In a major win for animal rights activists, the Ministry for Human Resource Development, Government of India, told the Delhi High Court, on May 19, 1997, that it had decided to make animal dissection optional for school students.

Following this submission by the Central Government's Standing Counsel Meera Bhatia, a Division Bench consisting of Justice Y.K. Sabharwal & D.K. Jain disposed of a public interest petition moved by the Blue Cross of India and ten others. The petitioners had demanded that if the Government did not ban dissections these should be made optional.

Counsel Raj Panjwani, appearing for the petitioners, had contended that "needless and unnecessary" experiments on animals in schools were not only cruel to animals but also to students, whose right to act by their conscience was violated by the forced dissections.

The Blue Cross is most grateful to Mr. Rai Panjwani for waiving his fees for the case. We consider this as one of our prime achievements.

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(From the Annual Report dated March 31, 1998)

The Central Government, in exercise of the powers under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 has constituted a Committee for the Purpose of Controlling and Supervising Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) with effect from 23rd February 1996.

MR. S. Chinny Krishna, Vice Chairman of the Blue Cross, has been appointed as member of the CPCSEA with effect from 23rd February, 1996 for a period of four years.

Notable steps taken by the Committee include:

  1. the banning of dissection in schools (which notification is held up)
  2. acceptance of the pound seizure notification as submitted by the Blue Cross
  3. making animal tests in the cosmetic industry optional

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Education Programs

(From the Annual Report dated March 31, 1998)

Blue Cross volunteers visited market places during Animal Welfare Fortnight and distributed handbills and pamphlets on various aspects of animal welfare with special emphasis on the cruelties prevalent in these areas such as carrying chicken upside down in bunches, tying pigs to the rear seats of bicycles, etc.

Though these are offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, it is regrettable that neither the police nor the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have carried out any concerted drive to minimize or stop these cruelties.

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Projects - Role of Animal in Ecology

(From the Annual Report dated March 31, 1998)

Ecology can be defined as the study of the interrelationship of living organisms with the environment in which they live. Animals play an important role in the ecological system, by maintaining the ecological balance. If the balance is disturbed, it would lead to ecological disaster.

In order to stress the importance of animals to students and teachers, the Blue Cross of India took up this project of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, through the C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre, in Chengai MGR District and Thiruvannamalai Sambuvarayar District.

The objective of the project is to create awareness among the students and teachers regarding the food web, the food chain, the importance of animals and the roles played by animals, particularly small animals, to maintain the ecological balance.

The project was carried out by conducting workshops for teachers and school students on the interrelationship between people, the environment and animals. The lectures covered topics like animal welfare, saving endangered species, problems of wildlife depletion and the introduction of environmental education in the school curriculum.

The video van of the C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre was hired for this project. It was equipped with a video projection system and a 100-inch screen. Slide, overhead and 16mm projectors and a wide selection of films in Tamil and English were projected.

During the day, the van was used for school programs. Students were shown video films on animals in the environment, animal welfare and cruelties to animals. During the evenings and at night, the video van travelled to villages to conduct awareness programs for the villagers of the Thiruvannamatai Sambuvarayar district.

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Animals in Films

Blue of India Achievements: Animal in films and entertainment(From the Annual Report dated March 31, 1991)

We are very pleased that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India has appointed our Honorary Treasurer, Dr. Nanditha Krishna, as a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

In addition, it is very heartening to read the letter issued by Mr. B.P. Singhal, Chairman of the CBFC, Bombay to the Board and advisory Panel Members. This circular issued on February 27, 1991 refers to "guidelines 2 (iii) and 2 (iv) issued by the Central Government under Section 5B (2) of the Cinematograph Act. The Animal Welfare Board of India has very rightly pointed out that cruelty towards animals is cruelty within these guidelines and, therefore, all the members of the Panel must be told to view films keeping the above in mind". The circular goes on to state that scenes showing fights between animals in which bloodshed, in which a strong animal attacks a weak animal and those which "offend the human sensibilities" should be viewed keeping the above guidelines in mind. This one of our laudable achievements.

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Performing Animals

(From the Annual Report dated March 31, 1991)

On March 14, the Ministry of Environment & Forests issued a notification under Section 22 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, banning with immediate effect the training and exhibition of all animals. This move was warmly welcomed by animal welfare groups and by most sections of the public. In a hard hitting editorial, ‘The Hindu" hailed the Government’s decision.

Unfortunately, the notification was stayed by the Delhi High Court on an appeal filed by the Indian Circus Federation. Overnight, a new organization came into being - the Circus Fans Association purely owned and subscribed to by circus owners. In an appeal filled with half-truths and outright lies, sent to the Prime Minister, this association even went to the extent of claiming that "withholding of food and administration of electric shocks to animals were unheard of in Indian Circus".

After consultation and in agreement with seven other organisations, the Blue Cross issued a press release countering these statements and telegrams were sent to the Prime Minister and Environment Minister requesting firm action to impose the ban. The other organisations supporting the ban are the WWF - India TN State Office, CPR Environmental Education Centre, Indian Institute of Animal Welfare, Bhagwan Mahaveer Ahimsa Prachar Sangh, CP Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation, Madras SPCA, and the South Indian Humanitarian League.

With the Ministry of Environment and Forests filing a counter-petition to the High Court to uphold the ban, the action has moved to the Courts. In the meantime, starting March 31st, in prime time Sunday evenings, Doordarshan commenced a 13 part serial on circuses which, for the most part, consisted of animal scenes. Once again, the seven organizations mentioned above were consulted by the Blue Cross and telegrams protesting the TV serial were sent to the Prime Minister and the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, asking that all scenes showing performing animals be deleted before broadcast.

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Animal Experimentation

(From the Annual Report dated March 31, 1991)

Gujarat has become the first state in India to ban the dissection of frogs in schools in biology classes. The Gujarat Education Minister, Mr. Karsandas Soheri, announced on March 29, 1991 at Ahmedabad his Government’s decision to halt dissection of frogs for science practical at the higher secondary school level. The decision, announced on Mahavir Jayanthi Day follows a request made by animal lovers that it was not necessary to kill frogs for practical, according to an official press note. Earlier, during the budget session of the State Assembly, the Education Minister had assured the House that the Government was seriously considering putting an end to the dissection of frogs for biological experiments.

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Export of Monkey for Research

Blue of India Achievements: Export of Monkey Banned in IndiaA sustained campaign since 1964 which included officials of the Blue Cross meeting several Prime Ministers of India including Nehru, Lal Bahadur Sastry and Morarji Desai, led to the ban on the export of monkeys from India for medical research.

Since the vast majority of the monkeys exported from India were shipped through London's Heathrow Airport, organizations including the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Vivisection, the National Anti-Vivisection Society and the World Coalition against Vivisection in Geneva also extended their support for this campaign of the Blue Cross.

At two of the meetings in the 60's, Colin Smith, of the National Anti-Vivisection Society, England and presently Secretary General of the International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals (IAAPEA), United Kingdom, accompanied the Blue Cross officials.

The ban came in 1977, immediately after the Illustrated weekly of India cover-paged a story written by Dr. Nanditha Krishna of the Blue Cross with photographs by one of India's best known photographers, V.K. Rajamani. This is one of our satisfying achievements.

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Export of Frogs Legs

Blue of India Achievements: Export of frog legs banned in IndiaAnother major campaign of the Blue Cross which extended over twenty years was against the export of frogs legs. This sustained campaign was supported by several groups such as the Bombay Natural History Society, Compassion in World Farming, U.K. and Lady Dowding of Beauty without Cruelty. We consider this as one of our awesome achievements.

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