After hearing from PETA India about the cruelty, pain, and suffering endured by animals used in circuses, more than 100 veterinarians sent an appeal to Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Shri Parshottam Rupala asking him to notify rules – a draft of which has been languishing since 2018 – that would prohibit the use of animals in circuses
In their appeal, they cite numerous reasons why circuses must be barred from using animals. Reasons include keeping animals in severe confinement, like chaining elephants when not in use, tying horses and camels almost constantly in place, and caging dogs. They also include physical abuse with weapons to force animals to perform unnatural tricks that wreak havoc on their bodies and minds.
In 2017 and 2019, the Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body established under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, advised the central government to pass legislation prohibiting animals in circuses. And recently, the Central Zoo Authority cancelled its recognition of the Great Golden Circus, the only circus which was still using protected wild animals – namely, elephants – for performances.
The expert appeal also notes that Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, and Malta have prohibited the use of animals in circuses.