Victory: Following Order from District Collector, Animals Rescued from Great Kamal Circus

For Immediate Release:
29 September 2015

Dr Ashish Sutar; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Inspectors Find Illegal Use of Animals for Performances

Bijapur – Following a complaint filed against Great Kamal Circus – which was recently camped in Indi, Bijapur – 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 supported by PETA India, circus management agreed to relinquish the 15 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 three goats, two horses and one camel from Great Kamal Circus have been moved to a sanctuary run by Animal Rahat in Sangli, Maharashtra. The nine dogs have been moved to a PFA shelter in Pune, Maharashtra, where they will be cared for before being adopted out to loving homes.

Great Kamal 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 Bijapur District Collector requesting action.

The inspection also documented that the camel was forced to stand on a small foot stool, one of the horses was forced to jump over a stick and one of the goats was forced to walk on a thin rope that was tied 7 feet off the ground. The dogs were made to walk on their hind legs alone while holding an umbrella and push a wooden roller while one dog stood inside. The camel has a torn nostril, and one dog has a serious wound between the toes of his or her left hind leg. The animals were kept in filthy conditions and were not being provided with adequate food and water.

“While the animals held by Great Kamal Circus can begin to heal in safety at last, other circuses condemn animals to chronic confinement and deprivation of all that is natural and important to them when they are forced them to perform for human amusement”, says PETA India Chief Executive Officer Poorva Joshipura. “PETA India urges families to stay far away from any facility that uses animals for entertainment.”

Prashanth V, campaign manager at FIAPO, says, “We are extremely glad that grassroots and national organizations could work collectively to secure freedom for all abused animals at Great Kamal Circus. Nationwide support for animal-free circuses is growing by the day, and we would like to thank the Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar, who has backed the move for animal-free circuses”.

A nine-month AWBI-authorised inspection of 16 circuses by PETA India – which was conducted from November 2012 to July 2013 – found, among other 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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