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EQUINE WELFARE CAMP AT AMARNATH, KASHMIR 2nd to the 10th of August, 2010 Organized by In Defense of Animals – India

Aspiring to help the equines of Amarnath to achieve the Five fundamental freedoms – • • • • •

Freedom from hunger Freedom from discomfort Freedom from pain, injury or disease Freedom to express normal behavior Freedom from fear and distress

The Amarnath cave is at a staggering height of 14,500 ft. in the Kashmir region, and according to Hindus, is the abode of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is manifested in the form of an ice-lingam which is located in a cave at the farther end of the Lidder Valley. This lingam is formed naturally of an ice stalagmite which waxes and wanes with the moon, reaching its full height during the summer festival. Every year, lakhs of devotees perform a pilgrimage, also known as a ‘yatra’, to Amarnath. The terrain is tough and climatic conditions are uncertain. Abrupt changes in temperature are common; within minutes sunny weather may turn into rain or snow fall. Often, the temperature falls to -5 degrees. The journey to the cave is made possible with the help of 8,000 – 10,000 ponies and mules who carry pilgrims on their back. Due to acute weather conditions, the period of the yatra is only 40-45 days. In order for the owners of the equines to earn a livelihood that will sustain their families for an entire year, animals are made to work unbearably long hours. Research reveals that averages of 8 – 10 people are dependent on the earnings of a single animal. In absence of any other mode of transport, these animals carry not only people but also food, tents, and other items from nearby villages to the cave.

Some of the many hardships faced by these equines are detailed below:They are not provided rest, food or water during the journey, which often lasts the entire day. This results in muscle exhaustion and dehydration. A majority of them develop lameness, joint problems, saddle contact area wound, eye injuries, hoof problems and muscle fatigue. They are made to work while they are in severe joint and muscle pain. The average animal walks approximately 56 kms up and down the mountain daily without any rest. Occasionally, out of sheer exhaustion, they fall down the valley and die. Deep bleeding and lacerated wounds are caused by barbed wire fences put up by the army. As there are no trained farriers in the area, animals wear ill fitted shoes which make this arduous journey even more risky. The welfare assessment of these animals indicates that 92% of them are lame and are in a high degree of joint pain. Improper feeding and watering leads them to develop acute abdominal pain which needs immediate medical assistance. Colic is very common welfare issue resulting in high mortality.

Who is In Defense of Animals? In Defense of Animals, India (IDA-INDIA), a non-profit grass root level animal protection organization, has been dedicated towards establishing and defending the rights of all non human living creatures since 31st October 1996. It aims at: Providing infrastructure and facilities for shelters, dispensaries, ambulances etc for alleviating the suffering of animals. Lobbying for amendments to existing animal protection laws in India, to make them effective. Rescue of abused animals. Campaigning to secure legal recognition for animal rights nationally and internationally. Promoting a non-animal based diet. Promoting Animal Birth Control program and discouraging brutal extermination of stray animals. Creating awareness amongst people, so as to start a mass movement against – ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

Use of animals in laboratories for experimentations. Vivi -section in schools & colleges. Harsh training regimes in circuses and films Manhandling of slaughter animals and poultry chicken Cruelty to cows, bullocks, horses, donkeys, Zoos Breeding for commercial exploitation.

For the past six years, IDA – INDIA has worked extensively with horses in and around Mumbai, Matheran, Kalyan & Titwala. We hold regular camps for working animals and advice the "owners" on how to take better care of them. IDA – INDIA has developed a team of capable professionals who are trained at Bristol University, U.K. and have been working closely with The Brooke, a leading equine charity. We have now raised our sights, and are organizing nation-wide camps to help equines in distress. The first such camp will be held in Amarnath, Kashmir from the 2nd to the 10th of August and will aim to relieve over 10, 000 equines. Our team of specialized equine vets, para - vets and farriers will camp in the region to ensure the success of the project.

Objectives of the Camp: During this 15 day camp we plan to achieve the following objective:

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To provide immediate relief from pain and suffering by attending emergencies. To provide quality veterinary service to all the animals in the area. To shoe the equines with good quality shoes. To educate the guardians and handlers on good husbandry practices especially with reference to animal handling, feeding, shoeing and hoof care. Counsel guardians and handlers on prevention of colic; its early detection and treatment. Interact with the local healers who practice traditional medicine and counsel them on the do’s and don’ts of equine medicine. Training handlers on first aid and providing them with a first aid kit.

This is an attempt to provide relief to these equines when they need us the most. In absence of veterinary service, they suffer continuously but have to work. By helping the equines, we are also helping poor families dependent on them for their livelihood.

To organize a large camp for 10,000 equines at a height of 14,500 ft. requires lot of human and material resources. To provide for this much needed project we need a lot of help and support from animal lovers, such as you.


2nd to the 10th of August, 2010 Organized by In Defense of Animals – India


2nd to the 10th of August, 2010 Organized by In Defense of Animals – India