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PETA Investigates Circus Abuse

Written by PETA

Posted 09-04-2013, 12:38 PM | 197 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:

1. 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.

6. 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.

7. Drunken circus staff who were handling animals

Inebriated mahout at Rajkamal Circus. 

8. 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. 

11. 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.

12. 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.  

13. Use of old animals in performances and of injured and diseased animals in performances

Limping dog with wound forced to perform in Rajkamal Circus. 

14. 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. 

 15. Inadequate food, water and shelter for animals

Rotten filthy bird food at Rajkamal Circus.


No shelter from the heat at Jamuna Circus.

17. 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.

18. 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.

21. The Rajkamal Circus illegally keeping an elephant tusk 

Tusk kept illegally found at Rajkamal Circus.

 22. 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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  • Nilufer

    Ppl wid even basic common sense shd realise Wats wrong n stop patronising circus zoo aquarium etc

  • Prachetta

    I totally stand by peta… Animals r not our, to entertain us in anyway… They are with us as our companion not slaves.

  • Prabhat

    F…….k those till they die because they deserve more then this for there cruelty

  • Bal Ganesha

    ganapati bappa morya god is looking over every1

  • Nitin Negi

    Dear Government hope so you are not blind… kindly Ban the animals in circus

  • Nisha

    We must help those animals who are suffering deadly anywhere .please banned all circus or live show

  • Jayati S

    Lets me live the way we want to live.
    It is there RIGHT.

  • Purva

    Circus should be banned and These people should b given employment so that they don’t hurt animals for their livelihood .

  • Ginger Cosentino

    Circuses should be shut down due to animal abuse.. This is just sick to watch this. Shame on the people in charge of the animals.

  • Elka

    So sick to see the defenseless animals, stop the circuses!

  • Bonnie Bettye

    WE humans are meant to be good stewards of ALL animals, to protect, nurture, and to also ensure that we do not abuse, destroy their homelands, their forests, and their means of living. WE are doing a fine job of abusing them, demeaning their lives, separating them from their natural families, destroying their forests all for our greed of money. We need good food, clean water the same as all the animals, we do not need money. That is a want. We must as a species stop this abuse of all animals everywhere, we must become better stewards of our farm land and not destroy any more forests. We are supposed to be the intelligent species, but we continue to show this poor earth that humans are for the most part a greedy stupid lot of animals, YES we are the animal as we destroy that which supports us – our earth! Animal cruelty has to stop and there should be hefty fines for those who hurt or kill any animal. Abusers should be jailed, fined and their pictures and names displayed publically for all to see. Parade the abusers down the street with pictures of their abuse hanging around their bodies so all can see.

  • Cristina Economides


  • Roberta Tomeucci

    no more circuses with animals!

  • sick, discusting very sad ,these people should be in jail

  • Stacey Boyd

    Please sign

  • Patti E Shackelford

    Please stop kill them up right murder in think so because u did whipping my love animals

  • Deb Greenlaw

    Free all animals from this cruel environment.

  • Shannon O'Grady

    Please put an end to using any/all animals in circuses!!

  • Rachna Poojari

    BAN this stupidity… Government just do something

  • Rachna Poojari

    Please put a on animals being used in circuses they are meant to free.. They should live free in wild

  • Anandita

    That was so cheap.. How can one do this to animals? Animals have not done anything wrong to us.. Then who gave us the right to do this to them?
    We will have to take an action against these people.
    Please let us know if something can be done.

  • Parminder Singh

    So rude and hights of cruelty . Let us a make a strong organisation , to protect animals and there rights .

  • Akshay

    Stop this absolutely Shameful and Disgusting practice of using animals in circuses. BAN IT COMPLETELY!!

  • To ban al animals from circuses now !!!

  • Jaswinder Singh

    Please let me know how can I help such speechless lives of nature. Its shocking to know how can anyone put them to these severe sufferings.

  • Anne Faucher

    Nightmare zoo! Shame on you

  • Binaifer Lalkaka


  • Smaran Mudbidri

    Dont let Circus industry survive if they treat animals like this. I urge all to go to the circus form a mob beat the circus operators black and blue and come back

  • Ankita

    Plz release all poor animal they are in so much pain. Plz stop all evilness in circus

  • Ramkumar

    Really sad. Human cruelty is growing for money. The animals need our helping hand.

  • Lynne Mitchell

    Why is all this animal abuse & cruelty still happening? I hope let’s India succeeds it will b a good thing

  • Sohini

    STOP doing cruelty to these beautiful innocent animals. Get a life u all morons and make circus on yourself. It will be fun to watch. Only some stupid people can love circus. Circus should be banned !!!!

  • Bhupinder

    Peta! It’s time to teach the real animals a lesson! Petition signed already! & for these poor suffering souls, I ask them to please forgive us humans for being the real animals! I am really ashamed to be born human!

  • Bhupinder

    Peta! It’s time to teach the real animals a lesson! Petition signed already! & for these poor suffering souls, I ask them to please forgive us humans for being the real animals! I am really ashamed to be a human!

  • Neha

    These animals are not meant to be treated like this. Nobody has the right to keep them in cages, chained and treated in a way that they get depressed. If humans find this entertaining then maybe humans should also be treated in the same way.

  • Aditya Parmar

    im gonna bomb ur circus if u dont stop.

  • Upasna

    Please stop this… now I am begging. .

  • Bhumija

    circuses should b banned..animals undergo hell lot of pain 2 entertain stupid people who don’t understand that animals don’t deserve to b treated that way.. they have their own lives n don’t need 2 obey anyone..they deserve freedom just like evrybody else..

  • Sandeepa Bhambri

    Man is the only animal who can cross all limits of cruelty for his selfish interests even though he has plenty of other options to earn, eat and be entertained.Humans are the most barbaric , heartless and inhumane beasts in this universe ! Pathetic ! Disgusting ! I am ashamed to be a human !

  • Naman Lamba

    Shut all of them down… They better do some other job for learning..
    1 danda in circus chalane walo k maro to ye b impossible kam karne shuru kar denge.. Totally hate!

  • Govt sgud put a ban on these practices….hang these rascals .they hav no right to live .

  • Sandra

    No animal abuse!

  • Neel

    should ban all those illegal activity in circus or in forest or in daily life..animals are mean to protected not for abusing.

  • Benedict Menezs

    Horrible torturous treatment to defenceless animals. Why were these people not prosecuted? Ban all animals and birds from all circuses. What is the animal welfare board doing. Peta, pl take help of Maneka Gandhi.

  • Please stop all circuses at once and release all those fed up poor animals at once, I hope this goverment does something about this wicked pratice.

  • Please stop this cruelty on animals.

  • Hetal Parekh

    Ban animal use in circuses.

  • Savita Patil


  • Therese Real

    Animals do not belong in the circus. All the circus to be removed and the animals living in their natural environment. The animals should not suffer for the people to be maintained.

  • Sakshi

    This needs to stop.. Animals are not meant to be abused


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