Following PETA India Campaign, Great Prabhat and Several Other Circuses Close Down


Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]

Monica Chopra;[email protected]

Karnataka High Court Disposes of Two Petitions Filed by Great Prabhat Circus, as It has Permanently Closed

Bengaluru – Today, the High Court of Karnataka disposed of two petitions filed by Great Prabhat Circus regarding its use of animals for performances – in one of which People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India filed an intervention application. The disposal was in view of a request by the circus’ counsel for the court’s permission to withdraw its petitions, as the circus has permanently closed. The court’s decision effectively vacates its stay order on the cancellation of Great Prabhat’s performing-animal registration certificate by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), prohibiting the circus from using any animals for exhibition and training for performances.

During hearings for another petition filed by PETA India in the High Court of Delhi, the AWBI revealed that many major circuses, such as Rajmahal Circus, Gemini Circus, Great Royal Circus, and Olympic Circus, have also closed down, while numerous other circuses did not reveal the whereabouts of their animals. The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) also informed the Delhi court that although Great Golden Circus is the only circus in the country that it has recognised and permitted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, to use elephants for performances, it recently issued a show-cause notice to the circus for transferring elephants to a religious trust without its permission. In response, the circus has requested that the CZA cancel its recognition.

“PETA India welcomes the decision of several Indian circuses to stop using animals. Countries around the world are passing bans on the use of animals in circuses, recognising that intelligent, sensitive beings are not ours to enslave and torment for our amusement,” says PETA India CEO Dr Manilal Valliyate. “We now request that the Indian government ban the use of animals in circuses to show the world that this is a progressive, compassionate nation that won’t tolerate animal abuse.”

During the last hearing, in November, the High Court of Delhi was informed that the recent inspections carried out by the AWBI revealed that out of the nearly 740 animals registered with it, information on only 28 of them could be retrieved. A total of 19 circuses are currently registered with the AWBI, according to its records. As per the information shared by the CZA in court, no circuses in India currently have permission to use animals protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, including elephants.

Animals in circuses are forced to perform through the use of weapons, punishment, and fear and are caged, tethered, or chained when not being used. 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