Unitarians Vote to Promote Humane Research Charities using Non-Animal Research

_ukunitarians_At the 2015 Unitarian General Assembly Annual Meeting, held in April 2015, AIA Chair, Rev Feargus O’Connor, proposed a motion encouraging humane medical research which did not involve animal testing.  AIA is delighted that the motion was overwhelmingly approved.

The motion, which had been signed by 37 Unitarian ministers read:

That this General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, recognising the universal kinship of all sentient beings affirmed by the world’s  great religions, philosophers and sages, encourages fellow Unitarians and all people of goodwill to support the Universal Kinship Fund of the Dr Hadwen Trust and other humane research charities in order to advance non-animal medical research and in so doing help save human and animal lives.’

For further details read here …

AIA Very Disappointed in Vote to Continue the Shooting of Migrating Birds in Malta

LACS1On 12th April a referendum was held in Malta to decide on whether to ban the Spring Hunt, in which thousands of migrating birds are shot by hunters each year as they pass through Malta on their annual migrations.  Chris Fegan, AIA’s Political Education & Campaigns Director and also general secretary of AIA member organisation, Catholic Concern for Animals, attended the referendum in Malta, along with staff from the League Against Cruel Sports and their patron, Bill Oddie.  The League and CCA have been campaigning to ban this ‘sport’ and had raised enough signatures on a petition in Malta to require a referendum.

Tragically the vote to ban the killing was lost by 51% to 49%.

AIA strongly opposes the hunting of these beautiful migrating birds and is extremely disappointed in the result of the referendum.  We will continue to support Catholic Concern for Animals and The League in opposing this cruel, pointless and barbaric activity.

CIWF Ambassador, Joyce D’Silva becomes a new AIA Patron

thumb_joyceThe AIA is delighted to announce that Joyce D’Silva is to become a new patron.   Joyce has worked for Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) since 1985 and was its Chief Executive from 1991-2005, after which she became its Ambassador.  During this time CIWF was responsible for effecting a considerable amount of legislation, both in the UK and the EU, which improved the lives of billions of farm animals.  She has written the vegan cookery book Healthy Eating for the New Age and co-edited The Meat Crisis: Developing Sustainable Production and Consumption.  She has recently overseen CIWF’s publication of Farmageddon by Philip Lymberry with Isabel Oakshott.

India’s Biggest Elephant Rescue Operation Ever – Can You Help?


India’s Biggest Elephant Rescue Operation Ever: New Lives Begin for Four Abused Circus Elephants – Including Peanut, Just 6 Years Old

Rescue Comes on the Heels of Circus Owner’s Arrests for Rape and Human Trafficking

 (Nanded, India – April 7, 2015) – Four elephants were rescued today from Moonlight Circus in Maharashtra, the very same circus that recently made headlines when its owner and several officials were arrested on charges of rape and human trafficking. A ten-member team from Wildlife SOS coordinated the rescue operation and getting the elephants onto three trucks. The elephants are now on their way to Wildlife SOS Elephant Rescue Center where they will receive good veterinary care, a healthy diet, companionship, and everything they need to have a healthy future. The convoy will halt at a transit facility enroute to let the animals recuperate before they move to the final destination.

Dr Arun A Sha, Wildlife SOS Veterinary Director, said, “The four rescued circus elephants will be shifted to the Wildlife SOS Elephant Care Center where the animals will receive much needed treatment and rehabilitation.”

With the circus, the elephants were restrained on both front and back legs when they weren’t performing, and were given little opportunity to exercise. The mental and physical health status of these elephants is very poor due to lack of veterinary care, no regular exercise, and a very unbalanced diet with poor nutrition. The circus was already known for its excessive cruelty and the circus owner had already been arrested and convicted for human and child trafficking.

Included in the rescue are:  Peanut, a 6 year old female; Coconut, a 12 year old female; Mac, a 22 year old bull and Wally, an 18 year old bull elephant.  The rescues are part of Wildlife SOS’ campaign to see every last circus elephant in India rescued. When the campaign began, late last year, 67 elephants were enduring life in Indian circuses. With today’s rescues, that number is down to 62!

“After evaluating the health conditions of Moonlight Circus elephants in August 2014, the elephants in this circus were a priority as they were in terrible distress.” said Geeta Seshamani co-founder Wildlife SOS.

Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS said “I am relieved that these elephants will now be able to lead a normal life and learn to be elephants again. WSOS has also offered employment to the mahouts from the Circus to ensure they are not deprived of a job. They will be trained to handle elephants with kindness and compassion”.

“Making elephants in circuses a thing of the past is a big goal, and it’s one that will require much collaboration. We would like to acknowledge the role played by AWBI, CZA, Hon’ble Minister Mr Prakash Javadekar, Smt. Maneka Gandhi, District Collector and SP. Police of Nanded, FIAPO, PFA Hyderabad, PFA Pune, PFA Uttarakhand, PFA Wardha, RAWW & Thane SPCA in helping to give these animals a life of freedom and dignity.” he added.

These four elephants now face a long road to recovery.  Wildlife SOS urgently needs funds for their ongoing care, treatment, rehabilitation and basic infrastructure to hold these four elephants. Please help by following the link: MUST INCLUDE PLEASE www.wildlifesos.org

Prashant of FIAPO who coordinated the court procedures and liaised with local administration said “This has been a marathon effort & a great experience to work with so many Government agencies and dedicated people & NGOs from across India”


About Wildlife SOS: A non-profit organization, Wildlife SOS is one of the largest rescue and conservation charities in South Asia. They operate ten wildlife rehabilitation facilities across India, including the world’s largest sloth bear rescue center and the recently established chain-free Elephant Conservation and Care Center, which is the first in India and currently houses eleven rescued elephants. Wildlife SOS runs a tribal rehabilitation project that aims to create an alternative livelihood for poachers and other indigenous communities that used to depend on wildlife for a livelihood. Additionally, they run a leopard rescue center, a wildlife hotline in New Delhi and ‘Forest Watch’ which is an anti-poaching wildlife crime enforcement unit. More information about the organization can be found at http://www.wildlifesos.org