At its first AGM held on Sunday 12th July 2015, the Animal Interfaith Alliance (AIA) unanimously approved the following resolution:
“That the Animal Interfaith Alliance abhors and condemns the attempt to undermine the Hunting Act 2004 by the proposed Statutory Instrument.”
The motion was proposed by Chris Fegan, AIA’s Director of Education & Campaigns and Catholic Concern for Animals’ (CCA) General Secretary. It was seconded by Sarah Dunning, AIA director and trustee of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (AWSA).
The AGM followed the 12th annual Interfaith Celebration for Animals, led by AIA Chair, Rev. Feargus O’Connor, at which readings on animals were given by Anglican, Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Jewish, Jain, Muslim and Unitarian speakers from each of their faiths.
The keynote speaker was Dr Deborah Jones who talked on Pope Francis’ new Encyclical on the Environment, Laudato Si’ and discussed its historic importance for animals. Dr Jones is AIA’s Vice President and is also Vice Chair of Catholic Concern for Animals. A Catholic Theologian, she is author of The School of Compassion: A Roman Catholic Theology of Animals.
Dr Alpesh Patel from the Dr Hadwen Trust spoke on the humane medical research undertaken by the trust, for which AIA’s own Dr Schweitzer Universal Kinship Fund is a sponsor. The research involves no animal testing and therefore saves both animal and human lives.
AIA’s managing director, Barbara Gardner also gave an update on the progress of AIA since its formation in 2014 and expressed AIA’s goodwill and gratitude to Pope Francis for the excellent document, Laudato Si’ by lighting a candle.
Funds raised at the Interfaith Celebration will be donated, half to the Dr Schweizter Universal Kinship Fund and half to Friends of the Earth, in support of the environment highlighted in Pope Francis’ new encyclical.