NEW DELHI: Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said there were encouraging developments in the animal welfare sector due to "lobbying" by various groups. Gandhi, who runs the welfare organisation People for Animals (PFA), also lauded Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari for bringing in stronger regulations for transportation of livestock.
She said that for the cause to be a major movement "lobbyists" were essential. "Things are happening. Some are halfway, some are almost done. Because for the first time animal welfare people are coming upfront and lobbying.
"This has to be a major movement and we are looking for lobbyists, who will be paid, who will come here, who will work with governments and I am looking for people who are in journalism, ex officers, lawyers, former MPs," Gandhi, a leading animal rights activist, said.
She was a speaking at an event where three organisations were jointly awarded by Humane Society International and PFA for their exemplary service to the cause of animal welfare in the past one year.
"Gadkariji's team has come up with a completely innovative strategy on trucks that would come into force from January 1 to stop illegal transport. There will be special trucks called animal trucks which will have welding cages inside them so that you can't overload," she said.
Referring to Nepal's Gadhimai festival, where thousands of animals are sacrificed as part of a ritual, she said the Supreme Court's active intervention had resulted in the reduction of exodus of animals from India.
"100 per cent of the animals came from India and there was a huge exodus of animals. We (PFA) were successful to the point that we reduced it from 4 lakh to 30,000. "Infrastructure is being put in to stop smuggling of animals into Nepal for the purpose of slaughter and this will apply to Bangladesh as well and to all our borders.
"The fallout is that Nepal has announced that it would not hold Gadhimai festival anymore," she said.