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PETA Investigates Circus Abuse

Written by PETA

Posted 09-04-2013, 12:38 PM | 139 Comments

A nine-month-long investigation of circuses across India conducted by a team that included representatives from PETA India and Animal Rahat and was authorised by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has revealed rampant and widespread abuse of elephants, horses, camels, dogs, birds and other animals used in circuses.

The investigation included inspections of the Amar Circus, the Gemini Circus, the Great Bombay Circus, the Great Champion Circus, the Great Golden Circus, the Jamuna Circus, the Jumbo Circus (Unit 1), the Jumbo Circus (Unit 2), the Kohinoor Circus, the Metro Circus, the Moonlight Circus, the Rajkamal Circus, the Rambo Circus, the SAM Circus, the Great Prabhath Circus and the Great Royal Circus.

The findings include documentation of rampant apparent violations of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960; the Performing Animals Rules, 1973; and the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, among other guidelines aimed to protect animals from abuse.

Of the inspected circuses, the Great Champion Circus was the only one featuring human-only shows. The findings at the 15 other circuses included the following issues:

  • Rampant use of weapons, including iron hooks with knife-like ends (ankuses), sticks with protruding nails, whips and clubs as well as animals with fresh bleeding wounds and injuries from the use of weapons

 Camel hit with stick in Jumbo Circus.


Ankushes and nail-tipped stick found in Rambo Circus.

 
Elephant hit on the face in Great Prabhat Circus.

 
Dog hit with stick in SAM Circus. 


Ankush used on elephant in Rajkamal Circus.

  • Animals who had died from inadequate care or who had simply gone “missing”

33-year-old Sadhana died in Jamuna Circus, which lacked a full-time veterinarian.

  • Drunken circus staff who were handling animals

Inebriated mahout at Rajkamal Circus.

  • Nearly constant chaining and caging and other severe confinement of elephants, dogs, cats, birds such as emus and other animals 

 Elephant in spiked chain at Rambo Circus. 


Dogs forced to live on iron mesh at Moonlight Circus. 

Birds in tiny barren cages at Amar Circus. 

  • Elephants, camels, dogs and other animals who showed signs of severe psychological distress, including constant swaying, circling and even self-biting

This camel in Great Bombay Circus bites himself from frustration.

  • Use of elephants and other animals who were nearly blind or had severe eye problems in performances

This elephant is forced to perform in SAM Circus. 

  • Use of old animals in performances and of injured and diseased animals in performances 

Limping dog with wound forced to perform in Rajkamal Circus. 

  • Birds’ wings were crudely cut with blades to prevent them from flying (Cutting birds’ wings can cause bleeding, pain, imbalance and depression in birds.) 

 This bird in Jamuna Circus cannot fly. 

  • Inadequate food, water and shelter for animals 

Rotten filthy bird food at Rajkamal Circus.


No shelter from the heat at Jamuna Circus.

  • Frightened animals who were forced to perform dangerous acts, such as jumping through hoops of fire, in violation of the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 

Animal forced near fire in Jamuna Circus.

  • Use of animals not registered with the AWBI or made to perform acts not registered with the AWBI, in violation of the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 

 Elephants displayed at Jumbo Circus despite AWBI registration having been withdrawn.

Unregistered goats at Moonlight Circus.


Animals were commonly forced to perform unregistered acts like this one in Great Prabhat Circus.

  • The Rajkamal Circus illegally keeping an elephant tusk 

 Tusk kept illegally found at Rajkamal Circus.

  • Breeding of animals, with resulting offspring not registered with the AWBI 

 Unregistered calf at Moonlight Circus.

  • An untrained underage child employed by a circus to shoe a horse (Ill-fitted shoes can cause permanent damage, pain and suffering to a horse.)
  • Evidence of falsification of documents declaring even pregnant and ill animals fit for transport

PETA is calling on the AWBI, the Central Zoo Authority and the Ministry of Environment and Forests to permit only circuses with willing human performers by immediately banning the use of all animals in circuses, following in the lead of Bolivia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Cyprus and Greece – countries which have already banned all animal acts from circuses. In the meantime, PETA is also urging state governments and union territories across India to ban the use of animals in their localities.

You can help bring in the ban. Take action today.

For the detailed report, click here.

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  • Mukesh

    There is a circus which started near my house in Hyderabad. Can we do something about it?

  • PETA

    @Manjari Hi, please sign the online petition: http://bit.ly/1hjq1jP and share it will all your friends and family too. By doing this, you’ll be asking Indian government officials to ban animals from being exhibited or forced to perform in circuses. Thanks for the support!

  • Manjari

    How can I help? I am so numb upon knowing all this.. I really would want to help these animals out!

  • Manjari

    How can I help? I am so numb upon knowing all this.. I really would want to help these animals out!

  • Raquel Medina

    This is criminal !! Animals are not toys! are not “things”.
    We need circus without animals PLEASE !!

  • Anne Grice

    Please shut down this hell hole and rescue these animals in a clean environment free from these brutal vermin’s calling themselves” humans”! Unacceptable vile cruelty and must end. The government needs to get these people educated because such ignorance and cruelty would destroy every animal in this country!

  • Mónica Valdez Flores

    People wild in tris century…it’s terrible!!!

  • Karen Napolitano

    Hell has a special place for abusers

  • Dajenne

    horrible and totally unnecessary cruelty against living creatures; this has to stop immediately!

  • Person Who Cares For Animals

    Animals are meant to be in the wild, why make them perform acts when ‘humans’ are there and they can put up really good shows. In addition animals are speared by mahouts, no proper shelter and filthy food results in death of these beautiful animals. Ban Animal Circuses.

  • M Fenton

    It horrifies me that humans can be so cruel to the other creatures on this planet, we have absolutely no right. Please show more compassion and end this cruel act.

  • Komal Khanna

    how can a human being b so cruel.shame on this life,if this is what v r doin! I wish v cud help these animals in some way n punish al the culprits

  • Iris Neuwirth

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sapna Chouhan

    This has to stop. PETA : please rescue the animals.

  • Karuna Keert

    Ban all the circuses. The only solution

  • Dawn Zegledi

    sickning, close this circus down and move these animals to a better place with proper care!

  • Chittaranjan Reddy

    This kind of inhumane treatment of animals makes me sick and makes me hate to admit that I was born in India. The India I believed in was supposed to be based on Hindu ideology of non-violence against all living species. All animals are supposed to be divine in our belief. It is really sad, that a Gandhian India, a land of Gautama the Buddha that taught us about peace and non-violence should be treating all these majestic and divine animals like this. Why are Indians acting worse than monsters. The Indians that watch such brutality, practice such brutality, and the corrupt govt., that allows such brutality against innocent animals should all be punished.
    I really wish there was some kind of a court, where all these people are held accountable.

  • Mas

    This is horrible!!! Please save all the animals!!!!

  • Sandrine Pollet

    Inssuportable, à bannir

  • Mary DeMarchi

    Don’t have any animals whatsoever in any circus anywhere. Animals are not here for people to exploit.

  • Carla Morejon

    Esto es intolerable ,demasiado cobarde abusar a un animal ,merecen la peor de las condenas.

  • Manel Dias

    The Government need to stand up & get involve to amend the Olden days barbaric practices still uses and bring forth the New Laws to fit the new Era. These helpless, Innocent Animals are NOT for such cruel subhumans to torture & brutally abuse on daily basis. BAN the Circuses …educate those evil subhumans who have no brains to find their daily bread while working with dignified . The main problem here is some Greedy people who are working with the Governments also only thinking about the money. Nothing about these innocent voiceless animals lives. If the Ministries concernd & are responsible of the Animal welfare honesly could do the job to protect these animals it should not be this way. Send home the currupt ministry workers in the Department & emply the people who could really work hard to STOP this brutality done to such Majestic & vulnerable animals. These nimals belong in the Jungles & not in the tiny cages while being brutally harrssed day in day out until their death. BAN the Circuses ASAP. Show the world that you care about these sentient beings as well. Thank you.

  • Alma

    For a long time I thought India was a cruelty free country. What a shame

  • Wendy

    PETA: Rescue the animals and close this circus.

  • Vasan Ramasamy

    brainless idots

  • Shameonme65

    Anyone who uses and abuses animals for entertainment disgusts me. It’s time to shut down circuses all over the world. I’m not a huge fan of India or what they stand for, and now my belief is even stronger

  • BOYD HORE

    These horrible cruel people should never be allowed to own an animals or even be near an animal .

  • Rachel Hussain

    Education/funding and tough penalties and a ban on animals in circus are the only things that will ensure these poor souls do not suffer anymore.

  • Sylvie Audette

    Stop that please!! Respect animals !!!!!!!

  • Karoly

    Bastards leave those poor animals free!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tina Rago

    stop the ABUSE!!!

  • Linda Gushee

    close them down, needless suffering

  • Piet Van Gils

    No words for this

  • Barbara Hegedus

    THIS SAYS A LOT ABOUT THE LEVEL (QUALITY) OF HUMANS RUNNING CIRCUSES – OR ALLOWING THEM TO OPERATE.

  • Nouha Kasdi

    Don’t you understand stop this abuse of animals they are not your slaves !!!

  • Sylvia Subramaniam

    Good work, PETA. Thank you so much for realizing this investigation. Now what? How can the average man get the United Nations involved?

  • Atmo Nageena

    Close all the circus down or just use human performers!

  • Corinne

    Close all circuses, have compassion….

  • Corinne

    Close all circuses, have compassion

  • Vicki Ginoli

    This is horrible treatment – these poor animals do not deserve this – please show some compassion .THE GREATNESS OF A NATION AND ITS MORAL PROGRESS CAN BE JUDGED BY THE WAY ITS ANIMALS ARE TREATED… I HOLD THAT, THE MORE HELPLESS A CREATURE, THE MORE ENTITLED IT IS TO THE PROTECTION BY MAN FROMT HE CRUELTY OF MAN. MAHATMA GANDHI

  • Flavia Renoult

    ces gens sont des monstres libérer tous ces animaux

  • Cornelia Sledge

    All people that own or work at circuses. are low lives, making animals live in pain for the love of money. All circuses have to be shut down.

  • Jeanette Holmgren

    A cirkus is nothing other then a moving house of animal torture and sadism. It is sickening to see that the people who have the power to end this never do. Anyone who finds these animals suffering acceptable is an animal abuser. Doesn’t matter if they work at a cirkus or visit them, all those people are equally guilty of animal abuse.

  • Brian Paulus

    NO animal abuse!!!

  • Sarah Weinstein

    STOP THIS ANIMAL ABUSE NOW

  • SABINE GOURBEILLE

    HONTE D ETRE DE RACE HUMAINE…..
    ON DOIT FERMER CES CIRQUES ET DÉBARRASSER LA PLANÈTE DE CES BARBARES D HUMAINS SANS CERVELLE

  • Rog

    end this disgusting injurious pain NOW

  • Richard

    il faut retirer tous ses animaux à ce cirque qui les maltraitent
    honte à ses hommes

  • Dawn McLaren

    This is appalling ,what is the Indian government thinking of.. obviously NOT the animals they have the honour of having in their care.. close down ALL animal circuses.. circuses with human performers yes, they make their own choices unlike these poor animals…close animal circuses down NOW..

  • Mukesh Tanwar

    I will take my kids to a trip of a slaughter house rather than a circus. Atleast that way they will get to learn valuable and basic lesson of life that everyone’s life is equally important and we have no right to take it for our pleasure..

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