Please Help the Animal Victims of Australia’s Bush Fires

Koala 6

The RSPCA in the UK has launched an appeal to help generous animal lovers to donate to the Australian RSPCA’s Bush Fire Appeal.  Please donate here:

RSPCA Chief Executive Chris Sherwood said: “We have reached out to our friends at RSPCA Australia to offer any support and expertise that we can help with at this difficult time.

“We have all been heartbroken, along with the rest of the country, to see the images of animals dying, losing their natural habitats and being severely injured leading to months of rehabilitation or worse.

“Whilst we deal with very different animals and in different scenarios, we share a passion and dedication for animal welfare and we have felt inspired to stand with our colleagues at the other side of the world.

“We would urge anyone wanting to help, to donate to RSPCA Australia through – all money raised goes to help animals injured in the bushfires and there is likely to be a long road to recovery yet.”

Alexandra Hammond-Seaman from the International department said: “We have been in regular contact with RSPCA Australia and other partner organisations and understand that as many as 80 percent of koalas’ habitats have been destroyed, not to mention the plight of millions of other wild and domestic animals that have been displaced, injured or killed in this catastrophe. It is estimated that one billion animals may have died in wildfires.

“Our thoughts are with those on the frontline battling each day to help rescue and rehabilitate the animals as best they can.”

AIA Welcomes Court Ruling that Veganism is a Philosophical Belief

Ethical Veganism

In a landmark legal case brought by vegan Jordi Casamitjana, Judge Robin Postle ruled that veganism is a philosophical belief which constitutes a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.  This means that it is now illegal to discriminate against vegans for their beliefs.  AIA strongly welcomes this ruling.

Further details can be found here:

Gadhimai Sacrifice – Latest News from Animal Nepal

Gadhimai 1

Update: November 20:

Most of the animal sacrifices are due to take place on the 4th and 5th
of December.

The Government of Nepal has issued an appeal to discourage animal
sacrifice at the festival, as have the Mahagadhimai municipality.
Pilgrims are being encouraged to make alternative offerings to the
Goddess such as fruits, money and precious metals. A large number of
the devotees come from India and it is encouraging that the Indian
government has disallowed the transportation of live animals into Nepal
for the purpose of the festival, which may reduce the number of animals

In recent days, the Gadhimai temple committee have also taken some steps
to discourage animal sacrifice:

1. Pigeon sacrifice will not be allowed
2. Pilgrims are being encouraged to make monetary donations to the
temple instead
3. The temple committee have agreed to support any kind of awareness
programs led by animal welfare groups
4. Religious ceremonies will be held at the temple to discourage animal
5. Animals will be categorized according to their age and animals below
the age of 2 years will not be sacrificed

It remains to be seen how much of this will be put into practice. Nepali
Animal Welfare organizations and activists have been working
relentlessly and will continue to do so to discourage this practice by
working closely with the local communities, through advocacy and

There will be more news to come soon from Animal Nepal.

Gadhimai Sacrifice – Starts Today


The Gadhimai festival in Nepal, which is the largest animal sacrifice in
the world, is a Hindu rite which takes place every 5 years.

QCA and AIA have supported the Federation of Animal Welfare Nepal
(FAWN)’s campaigns on the occasion of the past two of these rites, which
are not supported, but not banned, by the government of Nepal. The
Supreme Court discourages religious animal sacrifice in Nepal.

Water buffalo, male goats, chickens, pigeons, ducks and rats are the
animals sacrificed in their thousands to honour the goddess Gadhimai.
This terrible event takes place this year from 17 November to 11
December. Most of the animal sacrifices take place on the first and last
day of the festival.

AIA has written, with the approval of Animal Nepal, an excellent member
of FAWN, to the government of Nepal and to the local authorities this
year too, asking them to refrain from sacrificing animals. We understand
from Hindu American Foundation that the vast majority of Hindus do not
partake in, nor do they condone, animal sacrificing rituals. Most
Hindus carry out their sacrifice to the Divine using foods like fruit,
grains and clarified butter, and through austerity measures such as

What can we do?

Please will you remember, pray for and hold in the Light these poor
animals on the occasion of their deaths. Please also include all those
compassionate organisations in Nepal who strive, by education and
awareness projects in schools, women’s groups and other local
organizations, to bring an end to animal sacrifice in Nepal.

Please note that the Mayor of Gadhimai has been working closely with
Animal Nepal to persuade the temple committee to end animal sacrifice.

ABTA directs members to stop advertising elephant rides


Thanks to Save the Asian Elephants’ (STAE) constant lobbying of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), ABTA now admits that all elephant rides and related activities are ‘unacceptable’ and they are directing their 5,000 corporate members to stop such advertising.

Duncan McNair of STAE welcomes this but says that more is needed.  A new UK law to ban the advertising and sale of any unethical Asian elephant related holiday is needed.

To support STAE go to

Further details in the autumn edition of Animal Spirit.