For forcing animals to perform without a performing animals registration certificate (PARC) and for violating the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972, Cuddalore district police and PETA India representatives raided the Karur Latha Circus stationed at Iruppu, Neyveli, on Friday, resulting in the seizure and rescue of a camel, a pony, three dogs, a baby monkey, and a goat. A first information report (FIR) was registered against the proprietor at Oomangalam police station. The police and forest authorities were notified of the animals’ use by PETA India, which has been monitoring the circus’ illegal activities. The animals have been moved to permanent, safe places equipped to allow them to recover from their ordeal with the circus.
The FIR was registered under sections 11(1)(a), 11(1)(b), 11(1)(f), 11(1)(g), 11(1)(h), 26(a), and 38(3) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, for inflicting cruelty on animals and forcing animals to perform unregistered tricks. The provisions invoked in the FIR also include Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for maiming and rendering the dogs, camel, and pony useless due to injuries caused by cruel treatment, not treating the injuries, and using the animals for performance despite their failing health. The FIR also includes Section 51 of the WPA, 1972, for illegal possession of a scheduled wild animal in violation of Section 39 of the Act. The baby monkey, a bonnet macaque, is a protected species under Schedule I of the WPA, 1972, as amended by the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2022.
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) is the prescribed authority under the PCA Act, 1960, and regulates the use of animals for performances in the country. The Karur Latha Circus had not registered the animals themselves nor the animal acts with the AWBI, and the use of monkeys for performances has been illegal in India since 1998.
Several AWBI inspections and numerous investigations by PETA India prove that all animal circuses are cruel. Even in circuses with valid PARCs, animals have been found continuously chained or confined to small, barren cages when not being used for performances. Animals in circuses throughout the country are deprived of adequate veterinary care, food, water, and shelter and often forced to perform tricks through punishment. Many animals in circuses display stereotypic, repetitive behaviour indicative of extreme stress.
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