Children Join ‘Elephants’, ‘Horses’, and Others to Call for a Ban on Animals in Circuses

For Immediate Release:

14 December 2018


Ayushi Sharma; [email protected]

Garima Jain; [email protected]

PETA India and FIAPO Will Urge Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to Pass Draft Rules Proposing to End Use of Animals in Circuses

New Delhi – Accompanied by people dressed as animals (such as an elephant, a dog, and a horse), parents, children, and others – supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), of which PETA India is a member – will wear animal masks and hold a banner reading, “Environment Ministry, Please Ban Animal Circuses,” along with other placards to urge the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to pass draft rules proposing to ban the use of animals in circuses. These rules propose adding the following to the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001, framed under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960: a “[p]rohibition on exhibiting and training of animals for specified performances. No animals shall be used for any performances or exhibition at any circus or mobile entertainment facility”.

When:             Saturday, 15 December, 4 pm sharp

Where:           Dharna Road, Jantar Mantar, Sansad Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi

“Animals in circuses are routinely chained, beaten, and denied everything that’s natural and important to them – all for cheap tricks,” says PETA India Campaigns Coordinator Ayushi Sharma. “A ban on the use of animals in circuses would bring India in line with other countries that have already made this move and show the world that this is a progressive, compassionate nation that won’t tolerate animal abuse.”

Since 2015, because of the efforts of PETA India, FIAPO, and other animal-protection groups, more than 100 animals – including 15 captive elephants and many horses, camels, dogs, and birds – have been rescued and rehabilitated with the help of the police and forest departments and taken to sanctuaries, including those supported by PETA India.

In its efforts to end the use of animals in circuses, PETA India has petitioned the MoEF&CC, worked with government regulatory bodies such as the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Central Zoo Authority, engaged in litigation, organised demonstrations and social media campaigns, elicited help from celebrities, and held street-theatre performances.

In 2013, a nine-month government-authorised inspection of 16 circuses across India – as well as other inspections by expert teams from 2013 to 2016 – revealed rampant and widespread abuse of elephants, horses, camels, dogs, birds, and other animals used in circuses: handlers beat elephants with ankuses (weapons with a sharp metal hook on one end); drunken circus staff members roughly handled animals; circuses kept elephants, dogs, cats, birds, and other animals continuously chained or caged; animals exhibited signs of severe psychological distress, including constant swaying and self-mutilation; and animals were deprived of veterinary care, adequate food, sufficient water, and safe and clean shelter.

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