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Animals Matter to India

Feb 19, 2010

Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Environment and Forests in India, pledges his support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare

An Indian government minister has added his voice to growing calls for a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW).

Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Environment & Forests in India, said: “As an Indian, animal welfare is part of my dharma, and it has become my karma now!”

India  was the first country to have animal protection written into its constitution and similarly, the first to have a government Board dedicated to animal welfare issues.

The Ministry of Environment & Forests is in charge of animal welfare in India.

WSPA now hopes that Minister Ramesh will encourage support within his Ministry and the Government of India, increasing support for the development of a UDAW at the United Nations.

Justine Holmes, Head of the campaign for a UDAW, said: “We are delighted that the Minister has decided to give the UDAW campaign its firm approval. India’s close affinity with animal welfare makes it an essential player to support steps towards recognition of animal welfare and achievement of a UDAW at the UN”.

Minister Ramesh joins a growing list of Environment Ministers endorsing a UDAW in recent months including Brazil, Chile and Thailand.

Find out more about the UDAW campaign >>

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Elephants at a Kenyan orphanage run by a member society