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July 12, 2012

HSI and FIAPO Applaud Andhra Pradesh for Taking Steps to Minimize Animal Suffering

Humane Society International/India

  • Periodic outbreaks of animal diseases, such as H5N1 "bird flu", have tested the readiness of the Indian authorities. HSI

HYDERABAD— Humane Society International and the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organization praised the government of Andhra Pradesh for committing to follow international guidelines relating to the euthanasia of affected animal populations during disease outbreaks.

The commitment was made in response to directions issued in March by the Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India that internationally approved procedures must be followed in order to minimize the animals’ distress. 

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), of which India is member, is the intergovernmental authority responsible for improving animal health worldwide. Bringing together expertise from veterinary practitioners around the world, the OIE has developed standards and procedures for the culling of animals during disease outbreaks.  “We hope that these guidelines are implemented on the ground during cull operations. FIAPO, through its member organizations will keep a strict vigil and ensure implementation,” said Arpan Sharma, CEO of FIAPO.

“By mandating more humane approaches in implementing disease control measures, the Andhra Pradesh government is taking an important step toward improving the treatment of farm animals,” said N.G. Jayasimha, manager of HSI’s factory farming campaign in India.

The Animal Welfare Board of India has also supported Humane Society International’s request that nitrogen and/or other inert gases or barbiturate injection must be used as first choices when euthanizing affected farm animals, as these methods cause the least amount of pain and result in less overall suffering.

Facts:

  • Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory body of the Government of India constituted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. At present, the AWBI is working under the aegis of India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests.
  • In India, H5N1 bird flu outbreaks were first recorded in 2006, and have continued each year since, reaching a total of 86 by 2012. Millions of India’s chickens and ducks have been culled in efforts to contain and eliminate the virus. India has declared itself free of avian influenza a number of times since 2006—but the virus has continued to resurface.
  • There have been reports of birds being buried alive in an attempt to contain the virus – a clear violation of OIE guidelines. 

Media Contact: N.G.Jayasimha: (0)9490732614, ngjayasimha@hsi.org

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Humane Society International is the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States, one of the world's largest animal protection organizations—backed by 11 million people. HSI is creating a better future for animals and people through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide—On the Web at hsi.org.

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