7th May 2022
KAWB & Bangalore SPCA
Pashupalana Bhavan, Bangalore
(copy by email)
Re Animal Welfare Aspects of Upcoming Firm Charlie 777
While it is wonderful to hear of the pan Indian release of the film Charlie 777 on June 10 based on the friendship between a man and his labrador, we must also dutifully express and address concerns about the fallout and impact on animal cruelty under the PCAA act.
https://www.facebook.com/145423022729601/posts/1037771723494722/ I also reached out to Charlie 777 team when they started out, with a request to use an Indie dog in the film (please see indiedogday.com) pre Covid but they had some technical issue. Our online petition on IndieProud www.indiedogday.com specifically covers this.
We do NOT want a repeat of the Vodafone/Hutch PUG issue post their popular ad featuring pedigree pugs. We are all aware of the horrendous impact of the hutch pugs which caused a spiralling demand for pugs which are bracelyphalic, breathing difficulty , unsuited to Indian environment, can only breed via Caesarean , tough to anaesthise and difficult to manage. The downside was a number of pugs that were in terrible health conditions illegally bred, sold to fulfil the sudden demand but also abandoned because of the health problems. This is not a shampoo or a biscuit brand that we are trying to promote. It’s a living breathing life with a beating heart.
The Labrador is a beautiful dog and now extremely common in India. However due to poor breeding practices, illegal home breeding and unhealthy puppy mills many of these labradors are riddled with heart worm, hip dysplasia, epilepsy and other congenital diseases. While truly concerned parents will not be affected by care of such dogs we do know that the impulse purchase of dogs like labradors triggered by films like Charlie 777 would have a huge and detrimental impact on Labradors via the illegal breeding industry as well as cause huge animal and human misery with dogs being bred and sold to fuel the potential demand. Please see our campaign #NoMoreBagheeras #BanOnlinePetSale that was triggered by the rampant sale of these pups online . We fought hard and finally shut online dog sales down. (Change.org/BanOnlinePetSales)
As people in this line we have also seen many many labradors who have been abandoned, given up or sometimes even left to die and this is a great concern. The link of Honour Helen
is also here so you see how Breeder discards are treated. We are sure that the film Charlie 777 has wonderful storyline and has been made with the best possible motives but as animal lovers we would be remiss is not pointing this issue out BEFORE it creates collateral damage . We must have public opinion properly harnessed with the resultant interest in Labs, love for pets and getting a dog, going in the right direction.
Our summary is that if the impact is detrimental we must ensure that this is not allowed to release as per the PCAA Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. In addition the producers must make very clear provisions for the following.
First : Undertake that part of the proceeds of this film will go to a animal charity for rescue dogs. Secondly, that very clear #AdoptDontShop messaging on the film at start, during and end of the film is made that one should not buy but adopt . Also that Charlie is as much an Indie dog as a Labrador and we should promote and buy and we must be #IndieProud and adopt our Indian dogs first. Also all messaging and reach outs with the press must include this PCAA messaging with specific focus on DBM 2017 otherwise it is required for the regulators like SPCA and KAWB to take appropriate action to restrain the release of the film. The idea is to promote love for the dog but not to inadvertently cause cruelty via creating an illegal market and a spiral in demand for a pedigree that already comes with so many health problems . It can result in increased abandonment and cruelty to Labradors, putting pressure on a animal welfare system which is already tearing at the seams. We need to promote rescues and Indies first.
Please also note that this modality should be followed in future and all permissions taken before filming with an animal. We are quite sure that the film will be extremely successful and will promote love for animals but this caveat is an important intervention is required to ensure that the film does not just produce commercial success but also promotes responsibility and compassion in caring for and adopting dogs. Compassion to animals is after all part of our Indian Constitution.
Happy to discuss this further , but your immediate action is required.
Kindly do the needful.
Best Regards, Priya
CJ Memorial Trust
CC: Salma Fahim, Secretary AHVS
CC: Chair, AWBI
CC: All concerned
Addendum PS: Follow up mail
As a follow up to this, I now understand that the wonderful CARE was also part of the film - as a shelter location and also emphasising the message of adopt dont shop,. responsible pet parenting etc. ;I had no idea that there was any connection - and if the reputed and deeply respected CARE has in any way advised them, we know that all the right messages would have been communicated and emphasised, namely adopt don't shop, don't encourage breeders, and also to be responsible pet parents. So the points and caveats I have made above are probably redundant or already actioned.
Perhaps a positive message will go out instead of a pro-breed one, and that is a good thing.
I wish the films all the best. We all need to have the love of dogs promoted and emphasised , and I am sure that this kind of warm film will do just that .