Jo and John

This Indian based charity was founded by Jo and John Hicks who have been at the forefront of animal welfare for over 40 years.

JOHN HICKS : We are sad to announce that John Hicks passed away on 27th February 2015. John had been recovering from a Cancer Operation, but was rushed to hospital and died hours later with Jo at his side. The work at Primate Trust continues through Jo and the staff.

John was born in the UK in 1951 and served 5 years in the British Royal Army Veterinary Corps. After leaving the army John became Chairman of the Hunt Saboteurs Association in 1974.

Jo HicksIn 1975 Jo and John founded the famous Animal Activists animal welfare organisation which in a few short years changed the face of animal welfare in the UK and influenced animal welfare activity world-wide. They organised frequent sit-ins in Harrods fur department, regularly demonstrated outside every fur shop in Oxford Street and closed Swears and Wells which was the biggest fur chain in the UK. They also held sit-ins in vivisection laboratories to highlight the suffering inflicted on the animals. They organised countless demonstrations outside and inside numerous zoos to get conditions improved and campaigned against circuses with live animal acts.

In 1976 Jo and John went on hunger strike to expose ICI for using thousands of beagle dogs in a smoking experiment. Because of the publicity ICI shares went in to free fall and the experiment was closed down. This action was inspired by John reading a book about Mahatma Gandhi who has always remained his inspiration.

In 1977 Jo and John took over a failing animal sanctuary and left after 3 years having completely rebuilt the sanctuary, its reputation and finances. At this time John was also a Director of the League Against Cruel Sports and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection. He also acted as an advisor to numerous animal sanctuaries around the UK and also worked for Compassion in World Farming.

John then spent 10 years as head of West Country Operations for the League Against Cruel Sports and won the first ever high court injunction against a hunt in the UK. During this period he was severely beaten up on numerous occasions and had to be given special police protection because of the threats on the lives of both him and Jo. He was also responsible for the management of 3,500 acres of wildlife reserves and managed woodland for Sir Paul McCartney.

John and Jo then went on to start International Animal Rescue donating in excess of 2 million pounds that was to be left them in a legacy. In Malta John exposed the annual slaughter of 5 million migrating birds. Whilst exposing this he was beaten up on numerous occasions and put in hospital after one savage beating. He also stopped the suffering of hundreds of dogs being kept in appalling conditions at a so called animal sanctuary. Thanks to the Hon. Minister of the Environment, Dr Stanley Zammit, John took over the sanctuary by force using armed police. Dr Zammit went on television to personally congratulate John for his actions.

John was requested by the Mauritius Government to visit the country and produce a report regarding the stray dog situation on the Island. This report lead to dramatic changes in the way stray dogs are treated and started a campaign of mass sterilization.

Jo and John visited Goa on a cheap package holiday and were so horrified at the condition of the dogs they returned to set up International Animal Rescue Goa which is now recognised by the Animal Welfare Board of India as one of the country's leading animal welfare organisations.

After many years of working with Primates John is now considered one of the leading Primate experts in India by the Animal Welfare Board of India. He spends a great deal of time advising sanctuaries, zoos and Forestry Departments on the welfare of Primates.

Because of Jo and John's commitment to Primates they started Primate Trust India.

It is now Jo and John's intention to establish a world-class Primate Rescue, Rehabilitation and Study Centre in Goa. To ensure its long term success and future Jo and John are leaving their entire estate to The Primate Trust India and have registered a new charity in the UK to this end to permit fundraising in the UK.

Until sufficient funds are raised Jo and John will continue to run the Tree House in Goa as a temporary rescue Centre for the Primates.

Funds are needed now for repairs and improvements to enclosures, the monkey?s food bills and staff salaries. In addition we need to build up a financial reserve to pay for the purchase of land for the new Primate Rescue, Rehabilitation and Study Centre.

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