NEW DELHI: Animal rights body PETA India on Monday submitted a petition to the Environment Ministry backing the Centre’s proposal to ban the use of animals in circuses. If this proposal passes, India would join many other countries, including Austria, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Greece, Mexico and Poland, in banning or restricting the use of animals in circuses. The petition was signed by over 8,000 people, including celebrities such as Raveena Tandon, Sonu Sood, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, John Abraham, R Madhavan, Dia Mirza and Sunny Leone.
Students from Mumbai’s Ajmera Global School, Delhi’s Vishal Bharti Public School and Chennai’s German International School had also signed the petition. “It is never been clearer that the days of forcing intelligent, sensitive animals to perform confusing and often painful tricks for fleeting human amusement are numbered,” PETA India’s associate director (celebrity and public relations) Sachin Bangera said.
In a draft notification on November 28, the Environment Ministry had invited comments from various stakeholders on the issue within 30 days.“India is poised to make a great leap to protect animals, and every kind celebrity and youngster who teamed up with PETA, India, to help push this revolutionary legislation forward will be remembered on the right side of history.”
In 2013, the government-authorised inspection of 16 circuses across India ‘ as well as other inspections by expert teams from 2013 to 2016 ‘ revealed systemic, widespread abuse of elephants, horses, birds, and other animals.Drunken circus staff roughly handled animals, handlers were documented beating elephants with ‘ankuses’ (weapons with a sharp metal hook on one end), and animals were kept continuously chained or caged and deprived of veterinary care, appropriate food, sufficient water, and safe and clean shelter, PETA India said. With Agency inputs