Central Government’s Animal Welfare Board Issues Show Cause Notices to Circuses Following PETA India Complaints

Posted on by Siffer Nandi

Following complaints from PETA India, the central government statutory body the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) – which regulates the use of animals for performances in the country – issued show cause notices to Jumbo Circus and Great Indian Circus, requiring them to explain why their performing animals registration certificates should not be suspended immediately. The show cause notices were issued following the registration of first information reports on complaints filed by PETA India. In addition to cruelty to animals and other violations, both circuses were booked under Section 289 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, for endangering public safety. Jumbo Circus was additionally booked under Section 429 of the IPC, 1860, and Section 11(1)(l) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, for lacerating the feathers of birds to prevent them from flying. The show cause notices establish that both circuses have numerous registered animals who are inexplicably missing.

Circuses in India are routinely found to engage in illegal and cruel practices. Recently, following a petition filed by PETA India under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017, the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Thrissur, through an order dated 11 May 2023, awarded interim custody of macaws and a cockatoo with mutilated wings from Great Bombay Circus to the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo. A health inspection by a team of government veterinarians confirmed that the wings of these birds had been lacerated.

Several AWBI inspections and numerous investigations by PETA India have proved that circuses that use animals are inherently cruel: the animals are continuously chained or confined to small, barren cages; deprived of veterinary care and adequate food, water, and shelter; and denied everything that’s natural and important to them. They’re forced to perform confusing, uncomfortable, and even painful tricks under threat of physical abuse with weapons. Many display stereotypic, repetitive behaviour indicative of extreme stress.

We urge the public to appeal to the central government to prohibit the use of animals in circuses.

End the Use of Animals in Circuses

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