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November 29, 2012

HSI and His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama Call for Kindness to Animals, Marking the Launch of New Affiliate Organization in India

HSUS and HSI, working with Mumbai-based Pritish Nandy Communications, bring Bollywood flair to World Compassion Day celebration

Humane Society International/India

  • Dr. Andrew Rowan, president and CEO of HSI, with His Holiness The Dalai Lama. HSI

LONDON—Humane Society International announced the official launch of its office in India at an event in Mumbai featuring His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who spoke movingly about compassion for animals and the responsibility that all of us have to act with intentionality in protecting them from human-caused cruelty.

His Holiness, who has in the past spoken against factory farming and other forms of cruelty, participated in a panel discussion on animals, efforts to combat institutionalised cruelty and India’s increasingly organised and determined animal welfare community.

“Animals deserve our compassion,” His Holiness said. “We must know their pain. We should nurture this compassion through education. Showing concern about animal rights is respecting their life.” 

An audience of about 200 heard the Dalai Lama speak, as well as remarks by Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS; Andrew Rowan, president and CEO of HSI; animal advocate Pritish Nandy; Bollywood superstar Anil Kapoor; and author Chetan Bhagat.

“There are remarkable people who have embraced the cause of protecting animals, but few with the moral authority and conviction of His Holiness the Dalai Lama," Pacelle said. "His presence today provides an emotional and spiritual lift to our efforts to elevate animal welfare campaigns and activities in the subcontinent of India."

Kapoor, known for his roles in “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” and the Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire,” said: “No one needs to sleep hungry, let alone die of starvation. Yet tens of thousands of children sleep hungry each night because the grains that could nourish these children [goes] not into their bellies, but the bellies of the cows, pigs and chickens that form an essential part of a non-vegetarian diet. A desire to eat meat is no more inherently valuable than the right of some our brothers and sisters who don’t eat at all. Our prosperity, enjoyment and progress are only deeply valued when they do not come at the expense of others.”

HSI India will be headquartered in Hyderabad (focused on factory farming and ending animal testing for cosmetics), have its veterinary training center in Jaipur, and operate an Asia-wide street dog management program. 

HSI and HSUS invited everyone to take part in World Compassion Day. Show compassion for animals through everyday actions:

  • Animal Fur: Don’t buy clothing and other products made with animal fur.  Abuses in the fur trade have also been well-documented, including raccoon dogs skinned alive, bobcats and other animals spending hours or days caught in steel traps, and pet dogs and cats injured or killed in these same traps.
  • Animal Fighting: Do not patronise animal fights involving dogs, bulls, cockerals or other animals at home or while on holiday. They cause immense suffering to the animals and are illegal in many places including the UK.
  • Cosmetics tested on animals: Choose cosmetics that are not tested on animals and sign a Be Cruelty-Free pledge to end cosmetics animal testing worldwide.
  • Farm animals: Billions of egg-laying hens, pregnant sows, and other farm animals are confined in small cages or crates, or other crowded and barren environments, in industrialised animal production facilities (factory farms) around the world. Each of us can make a difference for these animals every time we sit down to eat by switching to higher-welfare animal products, such as cage-free eggs, and significantly reducing or replacing our consumption of animals by choosing more plant-based foods.
  • Spay/Neuter: Be a responsible animal guardian by always spaying/neutering your companion animals, having regular veterinary check-ups, micro-chipping your dog or cat  and ensuring your animals have proper food, exercise and living conditions suitable for their particular needs. Become a street dog defender to help dogs in need of care and veterinary treatment in the developing world.
  • Adopt. Don’t buy: If you are ready to add a pet to your family, consider adopting from a rescue centre. Many dogs, rabbits, hamsters, birds and other pets offered for sale in pet shops and garden centres are mass-produced in large, inhumane breeding facilities. 
  • Dolphinariums: The more we learn about marine mammals, the more troubling it becomes to keep these complex, intelligent creatures in tanks and pens for our amusement. When on holiday, don't swim with captive dolphins, and don’t attend a marine mammal show.
  • Wildlife: Illegal wildlife trade causes animal suffering as well as depletion of species, and is often linked to violence, drugs, and organised crime. Methods used to capture animals for trade may be cruel, and may threaten populations or entire species with extinction. Don’t support the illegal wildlife trade. Make your opposition known to traders, travel agents and authorities in countries or regions you visit. Don’t buy wild animal skin or ornaments and don’t keep wild animals as pets.

/ENDS

Media Contact: Wendy Higgins: +44 (0)7989 972 423 whiggins@hsi.org

About Humane Society International  

Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organisations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programmes. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the web at hsi.org.

About The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at humanesociety.org.

About Pritish Nandy Communications (PNC)

Pritish Nandy Communications is one of India’s leading media and entertainment studios. Established by Pritish Nandy, writer and eminent media personality in 1993, PNC has since made award winning television content and movies. It is the brand behind several cult films like Kaante, Jhankaar Beats, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi , Chameli, Shabd, Pyaar ke Side Effects and many more. www.pritishnandycom.com

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