Shi­ra­nee Pereira

PFA does not be­lieve in euthana­sia and gives an­i­mals a fight­ing chance to sur­vive.

Business Today - - CONTENTS - BY VENKATESHA BABU SHI­RA­NEE PEREIRA Co- founder / Peo­ple For An­i­mals, Chen­nai Chap­ter

When Shi­ra­nee Pereira, an em­ployee of the In­dian Coun­cil for Agri­cul­tural Re­search (ICAR), shifted to Chen­nai in the early 1990s, she was ap­palled to find how stray dogs were put to sleep. The an­i­mals were elec­tro­cuted but died a pro­longed and painful death due to fre­quent volt­age drops. An an­i­mal lover, Pereira was not one to tol­er­ate such cru­elty and de­cided to act fast. At the time, Peo­ple For An­i­mals (PFA), founded by Maneka Gandhi (Union Min­is­ter for Women and Child De­velop-ment), was look­ing to set up the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Chen­nai chap­ter and Pereira ended up co-found­ing it in 1994. “It would not have been pos­si­ble with­out her sup­port and fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance,” says Pereira.

She got the govern­ment’s per­mis­sion to run the dog pound and im­me­di­ately stopped the killing. PFA Chen­nai then de­cided to fo­cus on aban­doned pets or strays, which are blind, ac­ci­dent vic­tims, dumped af­ter med­i­cal ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, ill or dy­ing. “We don’t be­lieve in euthana­sia. We need to give them a fight­ing chance to sur­vive,” is Pereira’s motto. Her res­i­dence in Red Hills is home to 400-plus aban­doned pets. The or­gan­i­sa­tion also runs a cat­tle depot.

Pereira, now 53, took early re­tire­ment from ICAR in 2012 and works full time for an­i­mal wel­fare. She has also cam­paigned heav­ily to reg­u­late an­i­mal test­ing car­ried out by the pharma in­dus­try. “I am proud of work­ing with the govern­ment to help our friends who can­not speak for them­selves.” She points out that some multi­na­tion­als do an­i­mal test­ing in In­dia be­cause of the strict reg­u­la­tions in the US and Europe. How­ever, such reg­u­la­tions are not just about re­fine­ment, re­place­ment and re­duc­tion but should also in­clude re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, Pereira em­pha­sises. ~

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