After decades of struggling for recognition, the animal protection cause is now considered one of the paramount social justice issues of modern times. Any company that takes the step towards supporting this movement through CSR for animal welfare is sure to increase its goodwill.
Animal NGOs are very vociferous in India. Why not get them on your side? Appeals to companies to be included in CSR are always turned away with the stock response that humans need it more. But CSR for animal welfare is geared only towards human welfare, as Menaka Gandhi famously said.
CSR for animal welfare could include:
1. Planting fruit trees in and near jungles: this will help humans by keeping the monkeys away from the cities.
2. Building or running small rural hospitals for farmer’s animals. Government has no infrastructure at all. The cost of a cow is now INR 50,000. If it dies the farmer is bankrupt. Most of UP’s villagers still travel in ox or horse drawn carts. Horses that go lame are thrown into ditches to die.
4. Supporting the dog sterilization programme in smaller towns. This will end rabies once and for all and lessen the population dramatically, and reduce bites.
5. Redesigning carts to make them puller friendly. At the moment 33% of oxen die in 3 years of neck cancer, placing a huge financial burden on the farmer/villager.
6. Building veterinary colleges. At the moment 2,600 vets are produced every year in the worst colleges in the world. No wildlife vets, no zoo vets, no bird vets, very few small animal vets. The emphasis is only on producing animals for meat and milk. But veterinary colleges could teach actual medicine.
7. Teaching veterinary compounders who will then get jobs in their own village.
8. Giving money to make bureaus to catch wildlife poachers / traders who are denuding the forests.
9. Making rescue centres for elephants / injured birds like peacocks / leopards, and running them. Run campaigns for bringing back endangered species like sparrows.
10. Pay for turtle nesting sites: this will keep the rivers and oceans clean.
11. Pay for animal rescue during floods and cyclones. The man who has lost his house AND animal will never stand on his feet again.
12. Making one shelter / hospital in each city to manage the animals there.
Each one of these activities included in CSR for animal welfare will have a profound effect on the economy.