Victory: Following Order from District Collector, Animals Rescued from World Champion Circus

For Immediate Release:
7 September 2015

Dr Manilal Valliyate; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Inspectors Find Illegal Use of Animals for Performances

Solapur – Following a complaint filed against World Champion Circus – which is currently camped in Sangola, Solapur – by Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)–authorised inspectors from Animal Rahat, an animal-protection organisation supported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, circus management agreed to relinquish the 10 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 and People for Animals (FIAPO) also helped establish the circus’s offenses and facilitate the rescue effort. The eight dogs, one goat and one horse from World Champion Circus have been moved to a sanctuary run by Animal Rahat in Sangli, Maharashtra, where they will be cared for before being adopted out to loving homes.

World Champion Circus also signed an affidavit promising never to use animals again. The inspection by 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 Solapur District Collector requesting action.

The inspection also documented that the goat held by the circus was forced to walk on a thin rope that was tied 8 feet off the ground and that the dogs were forced to walk either on their forelegs or on their hind legs alone, lie down on their back and move in circles and push a wooden roller while standing on their hind legs. One dog has a serious wound between the toes, and another has a lame hind leg. The animals were also not being provided with adequate food and water.

“While the animals held by World Champion 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 force 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 World Champion 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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