Victory: Following Order from District Collector, Animals Rescued from New Sam Circus

For Immediate Release:
10 November 2016

Dr Manilal Valliyate; [email protected]
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

Inspectors Find Illegal Use of Animals for Performances

Anantapur – Following a complaint filed against New SAM Circus – which was recently camped in Yadiki, Anantapur – by Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)–authorised inspectors from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and Animal Rahat, an animal-protection organisation, circus management agreed to relinquish the four animals in its care to the AWBI immediately for rehabilitation and to become an animal-free, human-only circus. The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) and People for Animals (PFA) also helped establish the circus’s offenses and facilitate the rescue effort. The two goats and two dogs from New SAM Circus have been moved to a sanctuary run by the India Project for Animals and Nature in Ooty, Tamil Nadu.

Photos of the animals’ plight as well as their rescue are available upon request.

New SAM Circus also signed an affidavit promising never to use animals again. The investigations by PETA India and Animal Rahat revealed that the animals were being forced to perform without the required permission from the AWBI, in violation of the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001. This prompted the AWBI to write to the Anantapur District Collector requesting action.

The inspection also documented that a goat was forced to bend down on his two forelegs so as to look like he was saluting spectators and was also made to balance on all four legs on a small cylindrical pedestal and move in circles. In addition, the same goat was made to walk on a very narrow metal plank from one end to another and back. During these acts, the ringmaster terrorised the animal with a stick and hit him on the legs. The plank had a midpoint where the goat was made to balance on all four legs and then wait so that the crowd could cheer and applaud this act. When the goat reached the end of the plank, he was pulled forcefully by his noose to bring him to the ground. The circus also exhibited another goat and two dogs.

“While the animals held by New SAM Circus can begin to heal from their ordeal in safety at last, other circuses condemn animals to chronic confinement and deprivation of all that is natural and important to them when they force them to perform for human amusement”, says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “PETA India urges families to stay far away from any facility that uses animals for entertainment.”

Prashanth V, campaign manager at FIAPO, says, “Incidents such as the New Sam Circus rescue prove that animals continue to be used cruelly in circuses, in violation of rules. It is time the government took notice of the universal cruelty to animals in circuses and prohibited them altogether.”

A nine-month AWBI-authorised inspection of 16 circuses by PETA India found, among other forms of cruelty, the rampant use of torture devices; animals who had died from inadequate care or who had simply “gone missing”; drunken circus staff who handled the animals; nearly constant chaining, caging, and other severe confinement of elephants, dogs, cats, birds, and other animals; animals who showed signs of severe psychological distress, including constant swaying, circling, and even self-mutilation; and the use of elephants and other animals who were nearly blind or had other severe eye problems.

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