Tag Archives: India

Is cruelty on your vacation itinerary?

By Dr. Heather Rally

For many people planning overseas vacations, the exotic lure of India beckons. From the great Ganges River and the beaches of Goa to the iconic Taj Mahal and the towering Himalayas, the south Asian country holds an irresistible appeal. But beware: Almost as soon as a tourist sets foot in India, an enslaved elephant is offered for “entertainment.”

Elephants in India are forced to work under a variety of unnatural conditions, from festivals and temples to tourist rides. Those used in cities spend the entire day—and much of the night—walking on scorching-hot, pothole-ridden roads, breathing in exhaust fumes and “begging” for food in return for “blessings.” They’re often crippled with painful foot and toenail disease, sleep-deprived, malnourished and denied everything that makes an elephant’s life worthwhile: social interactions with their families, swimming and making choices about their daily lives.

My visit to one of India’s top tourist destinations, the Amer Fort in Jaipur, was particularly disheartening. About 100 elephants there are forced to carry tourists back and forth from the entrance to the main gate. The elephants’ mahouts (handlers) carry sticks to jab them with to ensure that they obey. As a veterinarian, I observed that many of the elephants being used to ferry tourists back and forth to the Amer Fort were suffering from serious, even life-threatening, foot disease. Many were also visually impaired. Some elephants had holes punched in their sensitive ears and drilled into their tusks just so that the mahouts could hang decorative ribbons from them. Captive elephants like these are often forced to work for long periods without adequate time to rest and recuperate.

The suffering begins almost from the day they are born. Often when they are just 2 years old, baby elephants are torn away from their mothers’ tender care and either tied up between trees with heavy chains and ropes, which cause painful abrasions, or confined to a tiny wooden enclosure called a kraal. Trainers then beat them with sticks and jab them with ankuses until their spirits are utterly broken. Shockingly, this torture can go on for months.

When elephants are not being forced to work, they are often chained to concrete stalls for hours on end so that they’re unable to move more than a step in any direction and forced to stand in their own excrement. They are rarely provided with adequate veterinary care and can suffer from tuberculosis, which can be transmitted to humans; skin ailments; eye infections; cataracts; and crippling arthritis and foot disease. Their quality of life is abysmal. When denied everything that gives their lives meaning, they become profoundly depressed. Many of them rock and sway constantly, a symptom of mental illness, and lash out at their mahouts and others around them.

Elephants are highly social animals who lavish affection and attention on their family members. In the wild, each day is filled with socializing, exploring, playing and participating in other group activities. Births are cause for celebration, and deaths of loved ones are mourned. Scientists have documented the depth and reach of elephants’ intelligence and emotional range. They are self-aware and empathetic, they plan ahead and they enjoy a social life as rich and complex as our own.

In captivity, these social and emotional bonds are destroyed.

Elephants in India endure this torment because tourists don’t realize that when they take elephant rides or participate in other forms of entertainment that uses elephants, they are directly supporting it. If you’re planning a trip to India, enjoy all that India has to offer, but please don’t support cruelty to elephants.

Keep checking our anti-animal-acts FACEBOOK PAGE for the latest in animal welfare news! … A LANDMARK VICTORY FOR INDIA’S BULLS!

photo credit: PETA

A LANDMARK VICTORY FOR ANIMALS! The Supreme Court in India, has passed a landmark judgment banning bullock cart races and all performances of bulls throughout the country thanks to the work of Animal Equality India and other animal charities.

Read more by clicking on our ICTimes circus Face Book page to the right!

Remember! Keep checking in! Get educated! PLEASE get involved! Do it for the animals!!!!  – R. T.

Beautiful photos …

From The Guardian.

Cold weather in India in pictures

Cold weather in India: A man washes at an outdoor basin on a cold morning

Cold weather in India: A stray dog sleeps with labourers on a pavement in New Delhi

A stray dog sleeps beside laborers on a pavement in New Delhi

North India continues to face challenging weather conditions with dense fog affecting flights and trains. More than 100 people have died of exposure as the region struggles to cope with historically cold temperatures

to see more photos, click on link below.

– R.T.:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2013/jan/08/cold-weather-india-pictures

Dear friends …

… For donkeys, horses, bullocks, and other animals in the sugar mill districts of India, one day’s work can be back-breaking — literally. But you can make a difference! Please become an Animal Rahat sponsor today and help bring desperately needed relief to working animals in India.

Animal Rahat is a unique lifesaving organization in India that was started with help from PETA. “Rahat” means “relief” — and that’s exactly what Animal Rahat provides to hardworking animals in India. The organization provides free veterinary care and respite to animals in desperate need.

Your desire to see an end to the abuse and mistreatment of animals around the world is what keeps us going. That’s why I want to make sure that you know about Animal Rahat’s lifesaving work for India’s animals.

The life of a working animal in India is filled with endless labor, suffering and sadness. India has one of the world’s poorest populations and is still dependent on animals for manual labor —especially in rural areas.

Bullocks, horses, camels and donkeys are forced to carry massive loads and pull heavy farm equipment using primitive and painful wooden yokes and crude harnesses that dig into their flesh. These animals often go an entire day without a drop of water as they toil in the burning heat and dust. Veterinary care — even for animals who are lame or dying — is often non-existent. Continue reading Dear friends …

New year, new life for captive elephants?

By Debbie Leahy

The new year is here, but a whole new life lies ahead for the 140 elephants who are kept in zoos and circuses throughout India. The country’s Central Zoo Authority (CZA) recently announced that it will no longer allow elephants—India’s most prominent national symbol—to be imprisoned in zoos and circuses. The CZA made its decision in response to the mental and physical suffering that captive elephants endure. Elephants already in captivity will be transferred to elephant camps—located near protected areas, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries—that are run by the country’s Forest Department.

The U.S. should follow India’s compassionate lead.

Miserable and unhealthy conditions for captive elephants aren’t unique to India. Elephants in U.S. circuses spend most of their lives in chains or confined to cramped transport vehicles. In many U.S. zoos, elephants live in pens that provide a mere fraction of the space that they want and need. Those in northern states, where long, bitterly cold winters are common, spend the majority of their time indoors. Instead of walking for miles every day as they would on the savannahs and in the jungles where they belong, they are relegated to worlds that are measured in square feet. Continue reading New year, new life for captive elephants?