WOW | Upcoming

An Evening for ANIMAL WELFARE

The-ConnectionAn event with a cause – The Connection – is being held at Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza on July 2. Animal Nepal and Core Fitness Studio are jointly presenting the live dance event where three dancers will be performing. Flamenco dancer Maradee De Guzman, Belly dancer Meher Malik and Kathak dancer Subima Shrestha will take the stage not only to display their talent but also to help collect funds for animal welfare. All the proceeds from this event will go towards improving the quality of life for animals in need. Tickets are priced at Rs 3000 per person including a welcome drink and dinner besides the opportunity to win door prizes.

Pramada Shah is a person with absolute love for animals, an animal welfare activist and the President of Animal Nepal. She shares her concerns even as she invites you to be a part of a cause that is important and compassionate.

Pramada-RanaWhat are the issues concerning animal welfare in Nepal?

The overall conditions of and how we treat our animals itself is of great concern to those who love animals and work for them. The condition of street animals and the lack of knowledge about how to treat pets that in most cases end up being caged or tied are some things we have to change. People have to do their research before buying puppies. The noise pollution created by pet dogs because of their confinement and mistreatment is also something we have to work to end. The breeding industry needs to be regulated as they are flooding the market with puppies.
The condition of animals in the meat industry and especially the transportation of these animals is very cruel. The meat industry has to be encouraged to adopt humane methods and standards for animal rearing. The dairy industry is no better as they are flooding the street with male calves and old cows that are no longer useful to them.

Animals sacrificed /mutilated during festivals in the name of God is an archaic practice which is something we are working to change. Public places of worship should be blood and gore free.
Animal farming has to be done in humane ways and cage /battery farming should be discouraged as they give immense suffering to the animals and birds.

Welfare standards for working animals including mules donkeys horses bullocks and elephants has to be developed and implemented at the earliest. We have to realise the value of these animals in our lives and start treating them better

An animal welfare act has to be passed at the earliest with Nepal as signatory to International Animal Welfare Treaties. Our government has an international as well as local obligation to ensure animals are treated with respect and humanely. This will only be possible once an animal welfare act is in place.

The issues are numerous and a lot of work needs to be done to end the suffering.

When was Animal Nepal established and what is the purpose of the organisation?

Animal Nepal was established in 2008 by a group of animal lovers to raise their voice for animals and provide services to the neediest ones. The dire condition of animals and the suffering we saw on a daily basis and public apathy was the reason we wanted to do something and raise our voices to end the suffering.

What do you do to make life better for animals?

Animal Nepal has been conducting animal birth control programs in Lalitpur, Kirtipur and Karya Vinayak municipalities since 2009. We provide mobile treatment services to injured and sick dogs in Kathmandu valley. We operate a treatment center for dogs at Chobar.

We conduct outreach programs at the brick kilns of Lalitpur to improve the conditions of working donkeys, mules and horses (equines) who are used for carrying bricks. We work on educating the brick kiln owners, equine owners and handlers to treat their animals better, and provide treatment to equines. We are also looking at ways to improve the lives of the equine owners by providing livelihood trainings so that they can achieve a better standard of living.

We run a sanctuary for equines at Godavari. The donkeys, horses and mules we have at the sanctuary were rescued from the kilns where they were on the verge of death due to overload and beatings.

We try to educate the public about animal welfare and humane education is something we want to do in a more systematic way.

What are your major achievements so far?

We have sterilised more than 4000 dogs since 2009. Similarly, we have vaccinated 7500 dogs and treated 5000 dogs till date.

With support from the Donkey Sanctuary UK, we have been able to reach out to 120 kilns of the Kathmandu valley. We are now concentrating our work in brick kilns of Lalitpur. We have reached out to 4500 equines so far. We are going to expand this programme to include welfare of mountain mules that are the lifeline of people living in remote areas and for the tourism industry. We are going to start from Gorkha and will also be expanding our work in brick kilns of Dhading and Kavre in the near future.

The level of awareness about animal welfare among the general public has really increased but a lot of work still remains to be done to change attitudes.

The establishment of the Ministry for Livestock Development should be taken as a positive step and we hope that while they promote livestock development they should also promote humane animal farming standards and implementation of the transportation guidelines to ensure a cruelty free livestock industry. The Minister Hon Shanta Manavi and her team at the ministry are also very positive about formulating an animal welfare law which is the need of the day and for which the animal welfare movement of Nepal has been lobbying for a long time. Government officials from the Department of Livestock and the Veterinary Council are also very positive about animal welfare laws for Nepal.

The mainstream media have also started including issues of animal welfare in their reporting which is something we see as a positive step to promote animal welfare and educate the public.
More and more animal lovers, especially the youth are coming forward to work for animals.

What are the challenges faced by the Animal Nepal?

The main challenge Animal Nepal has faced from its establishment is to be able to reach out to more animals. We get an overwhelming number of requests to pick up animals from all over the valley. We have just one ambulance which is used for picking up dogs for spaying and mobile treatments. It is impossible for us to go everywhere. We tried to limit ourselves to Lalitpur area but are unable to do so as we find it very difficult to refuse cases that desperately need our help. We are in desperate need of another ambulance but due to limited resources are unable to buy one. We had approached the Indian Embassy and others to donate an ambulance for our lifesaving work and are hopeful they consider our request.

The other challenge we face is attitude of some people who simply refuse to understand that animals are sentient beings and they need our help. They just cannot understand why we help animals and not humans but do not see that by helping animals, we are helping the society as a whole.

Another major challenge is unavailability of owners and communities willing to lease out land for our shelters. The current landlords also constantly threaten to kick us out. So one of our main challenges is to buy a plot of land for Animal Nepal for which we are currently fundraising. Working with limited resources is very challenging.

The absence of an animal welfare law greatly hampers our work we are hoping a bill is passed soon which will help facilitate the work we do.

To know more about ANIMAL NEPAL, to donate, volunteer or buy tickets for the event, please call 9808093887.