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PETA Investigates Circus Abuse

Written by PETA

Posted 09-04-2013, 12:38 PM | 241 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.

Commenting is closed.
  • Suchandra Nandi

    stop behaving like this with animals just for earning money.

  • Jack

    2 years ago in Chandigarh, I reported a man who had a monkey on a rope which was smoking for the audience and receiving a few Rupees. it was confiscated. I also reported a pet shop which had up to 30 budgies in one small cage in the searing heat. They couldn’t all perch at one time because there was insufficient space. The Chandigarh animal rescue centre dealt with both of these and I gave them a reasonable donation at the end of my visit. It can be done – these organisations just need supporting and contacting.

  • Jack

    The founder of your country, Ghandi, would turn in his grave if he thought such practices were still going on.

  • Shantie Lemmers


  • Rohan

    My neighbors have kept a Parrot in their house in a little cage and the parrot wants to fly, but they don’t want to. How to report it anonymously?


  • Ram Lakhan

    will you please tell me where is the link/column of complaints against some people who kills birds for eating purpose. youPETA only have link to become member or donation. I need help to stop these bird abuse.

  • Meg Esmail

    please ban circuses all around the world that uses of animals.

  • Chander Jain

    Free these animals

  • Minal NM

    Dear PETA,

    Do some actions against this illegal acts performed by various circuses in india. Do release all that poor animals, please let them leave their own happy life. Please, its very humble request to you to ban this circuses please. Its not any kind of entertainment people, please dont curse their life.

  • Raghu

    I never entertain my surrounding people to go to circus, please stop animal abusing

  • Darshana

    And we call ourselves the smartest and most intelligent beings on earth! LOL When will we learn that this is not intelligence nor smartness???

  • Darshana

    And we call ourselves the smartest and most intelligent beings on earth! LOL

  • Vasudha

    Stop this brutality towards animals , they feel pain too

  • Poornima

    Is thr any end for it..we are with u PETA

  • All humans are rascals Who do such inhuman Activity

  • Veda Prabha

    Pls help innocent animals n they have to be given justice

  • Yogita Basnal

    buoycott circuses

  • Ranjana

    ban animal cirus keep animals ouut of circus

  • Ranjana

    bab animal cirus

  • Divya

    I see no necessacity of circuses for thrbsakr of human entertainment. We humans have a countless amount of other stuffs that entertain us.
    The suffering of these earthlings are gir no noble cause, or infact for no any cause at all.
    And even if there had been a cause still animals dont have to be used to serve the cause.

  • Request to all circus people..
    Why not u all employ play all those role by self in place of inocent animals n jst feel the pain n fear wht they can feel.
    A humble request to Mr P M & Govt plz open ur eyes and stop all des blady games. Animals also hv full right to live life freely. They were also GOD made creatures.

  • Holly.sweeney

    Ban all animal circuses it’s cruel and barbaric!!

  • Mirka Votkin

    Stop hurting animals


    Shame shame shame on so called civilized society…y humen being not use lik dis..

  • Sophie Holeshowski

    I hate circuses using animals
    Always did and always will
    As much as I hate zoos
    Wild animals should be left alone in the wild

  • Priya

    Stop torturing these innocent animals or they wil curse till ur children n grand children.

  • Omkat

    If all the act’s perform by owners
    then he feel his pain


    What the Hell is wrong inhere have we forgotten the value of lives!! THIS HAS TO STOP!! These animals have an equal right to live and be loved!!

  • Shalaka

    Please ban the use of animals and birds in circus

  • Dharani Kumar Anagani

    please stop the cruelty

  • Deepali

    I am feeling so happy thatnnow people have stopped going to circuses ….well at least the majority. I wish this human species dies so that all other species could have a life full of love and not cruelty

  • Eva-Lotta Sanneling

    Why why why do you use these poor animals in this horryfying way?!!!! Please please let it end

  • Please stop Animal cruelty, every single animal has its rights to live free. So please ban this Animal Circus and put an end to this.

  • ABhinav

    this is the most heinous and barbaric act that i have ever seen please stop using these animals for performing tricks i also urge people to stop going to these circus if they use animals as this is the thing that encourages them to do such acts

  • Ana Veloso

    This kind of monstrosities must end. People who do it have no feelings at all and are evil. Nothing justify this acts as animals feel pain and their rights must be defended.

  • Debi

    ban circuses! Stop animal cruelty!!

  • Puneet

    Please let them live and set them free…..They are not ours to entertain…….all lives have equal rights to live an independent life…..

  • Noorie

    I couldn’t watch dt full video. Its so disturbing to see these angels suffering like this. Those who r treating them like this will surely burn in hell.
    u guys pls help these animals. Ban use of animals in circuses or in any other show.

  • Ursula

    I saw enough and it’s disgusting how animals are mistreated…….

  • Urba

    I strongly condem the act of all this animal circuses, and request public not to take thier children to such circuses, instead take them to sanctuaries. When there is no demand, automatically this circuses will get closed. We want our children to see how we nurture our animals, and not torture them. Please request Peta to ban use of animal’s in these circuses.

  • 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.


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