Eighteen Body Shop Employees To Be Caged For PETA Protest Of Circus Cruelty On World Animal Day

For Immediate Release:
3 Oct 2013

Bhuvaneshwari Gupta; [email protected]
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

On the Heels of an Incriminating Investigation of Circus Abuse-PETA, The Body Shop Employees Team Up in Call for Government to Ban the Use of Animals in All Circuses

Mumbai –Locked in cages stacked on top of one another and holding signs that read, “Try To Relate to Their Fate – Ban Animal Circuses”, The Body Shop employees and members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India will protest against the use of animals in circuses in Mumbai on Friday. The action marks World Animal Day (October 4th) and comes in the wake of PETA’s nine-month investigation of 16 circuses across India that revealed rampant abuse of elephants, horses, camels, dogs, birds and other animals. Now, PETA and The Body Shop employees are calling on the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to follow the lead of Bolivia, Greece, Cyprus and Bosnia and Herzegovina by enacting a ban on the use of animals in circuses and allowing only willing human performers. Following a review of PETA’s report, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) – a statutory board under the MoEF –were reported to support PETA’s call to ban the use of animals in circuses. PETA is also calling on the Maharashtra government not to allow circuses to use animals in the state.

When: Friday, 4th October, 2013, 12 noon sharp
Where: At the Amphitheatre, Diagonally Opposite Cafe Coffee Day & Near Police Station, Carter Road, Bandra (West), Mumbai

“The Body Shop has always refused to test products on animals. When we learned from PETA that animals in circuses are chained, beaten and denied everything that’s natural and important to them – all for a lifetime of cheap tricks—we knew we had to act”, says The Body Shop’s Prakash Kamat. “It’s time that the government banned the archaic use of animals in circuses, and parents should know that if their kids love animals, the last place they should take them to is the circus. The Body shop has inculcated its values in us and we’re proud to support PETA in this lifesaving initiative under our employees’ volunteering program, ‘Aashe’.”

PETA’s investigation by experienced veterinarians who are also qualified as animal welfare assessors, along with other inspectors recognized as Honorary Animal Welfare Officers by AWBI, found the following and other abuses:
• Rampant use of weapons, including iron hooks with spear–like ends (ankuses); sticks with protruding nails, whips, and clubs and animals with bleeding wounds from the use of weapons
• Animals who had died from inadequate care or who had simply gone “missing”
• Drunken circus staff who were handling animals
• Nearly constant chaining and caging and other severe confinement of elephants, dogs, cats, birds and other animals
• Elephants, camels, dogs and other animals who showed signs of severe psychological distress, including constant swaying, circling and even self-biting
• Use of elephants and other animals who were nearly blind or had severe eye problems
• Use of old, injured and diseased animals
• Birds with crudely cut wings to prevent them from flying
• Inadequate food, water and shelter for animals
• Frightened animals forced to perform dangerous acts, such as jumping through hoops of fire, in violation of the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 (PAR)
• Use of animals not registered with the AWBI or forced to perform acts not registered with the AWBI, in violation of the PAR
• Untrained, underage child employed by a circus to shoe a horse (Ill-fitted shoes can cause permanent damage, pain and suffering.)
• The Rajkamal Circus illegally keeping an elephant tusk
• Evidence of falsification of documents declaring even pregnant and ill animals fit for transport
• Breeding of animals, with resulting offspring not registered with the AWBI
• Ill, injured and diseased animals who had been denied veterinary care, including for fungal infections, bursitis, dermatitis, alopecia, pus-filled wounds, cataracts, lameness, osteoarthritis, deformed hooves and more.

PETA points out that the Rambo Circus has held shows without the use of animals at Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai and that the Great Champion Circus enjoys success without using animals in performances. One of the most internationally renowned and popular circuses in the world, Cirque du Soleil, also uses only willing human performers.

PETA’s complete reports, photographs and videos from the investigation are available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.