Following an appeal from PETA India, Paytm Insider – a ticketing platform owned by Paytm – removed advertisements featuring circuses which use animals from its website and verbally assured PETA India that it has stopped advertising such circuses. In August last year, BookMyShow stopped promoting circuses using animals following a meeting with PETA India.
Earlier this year, Paytm’s e-ticketing platform sold tickets for Great Gemini Circus, which has used animals illegally in performances. After learning about violations by the circus while it was based at Korba, PETA India filed a complaint with local police for using animals who were not registered with the central government body Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) in unregistered acts, for endangering public safety, and for other contraventions under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, and the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Circuses that use animals often fail to duly register them with the AWBI despite a legal requirement to do so, use weapons to force them into performing confusing tricks that often cause pain or discomfort, and keep them caged and chained when they’re not performing. This abuse falls under the PCA Act, 1960, and the rules framed thereunder but is nevertheless commonplace in animal circuses across the country.
Two regulatory bodies, the AWBI and the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), have recognised that animal circuses are inherently cruel and that the use of animals in circuses in India should be prohibited. The AWBI has advised the central government to pass legislation prohibiting animals in circuses across the country over animal welfare concerns, and the CZA has written in support of the prohibition of using elephants in circuses for the same reason. The CZA’s purview covers wild animals protected under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
Several AWBI inspections and numerous investigations by PETA India prove that animal circuses are cruel. 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. Physical abuse with weapons is used to force them to perform uncomfortable – even painful – tricks. Many elephants display stereotypic, repetitive behaviour indicative of extreme stress.
PETA India thanks Paytm Insider for its responsible action and commitment to animal welfare.