Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
India’s First Olympic Boxing Medalist Is Firmly in the Animals’ Corner
Mumbai – Restrained in chains and holding a placard reading “Shackled, Beaten, Abused. Animal Don’t Belong in the Circus”, Olympic Bronze Medalist and acclaimed Indian boxer Vijender Singh posed today for a new People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India campaign. Singh – who is the first Indian to win an Olympic medal in boxing and who also won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honour – wants people to know that animals in circuses are deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them and are regularly beaten, all for a lifetime of cheap tricks.
“Animals cherish their freedom every bit as much as we do, but circuses deny them their freedom and every other form of natural expression”, says Singh. “I’m asking people across India to help knock out cruelty by never attending a circus that uses animals.”
Animals in circuses are subjected to chronic confinement, physical abuse and psychological torment. Whips and other weapons – including ankuses, which are heavy, sharp steel-tipped rods – are used to inflict pain on animals and beat them into submission. Animals perform confusing, unnatural tricks – such as riding bicycles, standing on their heads or jumping through rings of fire – not because they want to, but out of fear of violent punishment.
Even when they aren’t performing, animals in circuses suffer a lifetime of misery. Their access to water, food and veterinary care may be severely restricted. Dogs are crammed into dirty cages and rarely let out, and birds have their wings clipped so that they cannot fly and are confined to tiny cages. Horses are kept tethered on short ropes, and elephants are kept shackled by three legs.
The government has already banned the use of bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, bulls and lions in performances. PETA India now calls on the government to follow the lead of Bolivia and Greece by banning the use of all animals in circuses.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.