For Immediate Release:
10 January 2022
Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]
Monica Chopra; [email protected]
Pune – After receiving a complaint from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India through its local volunteer advocate Rhiddhi Patel, Pune city police registered a first information report (FIR) against the proprietor of Rambo Circus for using fish who are not registered for performance and for forcing dogs to perform tricks which are not approved by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). The AWBI is the prescribed authority under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, which regulates the use of animals for performances in the country. In its complaint to the police, PETA India also submitted a report of its investigation into the circus conducted on 26 December 2021 containing evidence of violation of laws and cruelty to animals.
The FIR was registered at the Mundhwa police station under Sections 3 and 11(1)(a) (for causing unnecessary and pain and suffering to animals) and Sections 26 and 38 (for using unregistered animals and forcing animals to perform unregistered tricks) of the PCA Act. The FIR also includes Section 289 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for negligent conduct with respect to a dog who wandered into the audience area.
“Rambo Circus forces fish to suffer when they’re swallowed and regurgitated and condemns dogs to confinement and denies everything natural to them,” says PETA India Emergency Response Team Associate Manager Meet Ashar. “PETA India urges families to support only non-animal forms of entertainment.”
According to the performing animal registration certificate (PARC) issued to Rambo Circus on 14 April 2021 by the AWBI under the Performing Animal (Registration) Rules, 2001, notified under the PCA Act, 10 dogs were registered for performances and seven of those were to be retired. However, PETA India’s investigator found that the circus is using seven dogs and two unregistered fish for performances. The dogs were filmed and photographed jumping on top of a flagpole held by a man, sitting on stools and raising their front legs, and wearing a hat while performing – acts which are not registered in the PARC. In addition, a performer was filmed and photographed seeming to drink two fish along with the water they were kept in. He then holds the fish between his teeth and displays them to the audience. He appears to swallow them alive one after the other and then spits them out into a transparent jar filled with water.
Another case against Rambo Circus has been pending before the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Pimpri, since 2016. This was based on a case registered against the circus by Pune police following a complaint by the AWBI for violation of laws, as well as cruelty to, neglect of, and misuse of animals.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.