India for Animals Conf 2016

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The 2016 India for Animals Conference has recently taken place in Mumbai organised by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO).

I was delighted to attend and represent CCA and was very pleased to find that the Dogs Trust were co-hosting the Conference. This is no doubt because “street/stray dogs” are a very big Animal Welfare issue in India and it is estimated by the Indian Government and the Animal Welfare Board of India that thee are around 30 Million Stray/Street dogs in India.

I was also very pleased to see other representatives from the UK including both the RSPCA and CIWF who were very prominent at the Conference and who gave excellent presentations on various subject matters.

There are over 20 Million Catholics in India with a very prominent population in Goa and India has the second highest number of Catholics of any country in Asia after the Philippines. I am sure that CCA can play its part in helping Animal Welfare and Animal Rights in India as well as supporting the positive actions being taken in the Sub-Continent to end the many horrible examples of outright Animal abuse and even Animal torture that I have heard about-of course such horrors are not by any means exclusive to India!!

The Conference was very informative and stimulating and although the issue of dogs is a major animal welfare issue in the country it is by no means the only one and there are numerous issues to be dealt with and  not least in regards to the often poor treatment of Elephants and of course the ongoing risks to the magnificent Tiger itself.

 

St Francis Day 2016

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Happy St Francis Day 2016

Today is St Francis day and we commemorate the life and death of St Francis of Assisi who died on 4th October 1226 at Portiuncula in Italy and was then declared a Saint by Pope Gregory 1x in 1228.

It is well know that St Francis is of course the Patron Saint of Animals but it is often less well known that St Francis is also the Patron Saint of the Environment and we again celebrate in his name today the Encyclical Letter on the Environment by Pope Francis entitled Laudato Si’ and which was published last year and which we in Catholic Concern for Animals often now refer to as our “policy document” and upon which we frame a lot of our activity and ongoing educational work .

I believe that if St Francis was here with us today he would give Laudato Si’ his full blessing and support and there is very little that could be seen as higher praise than that.