Camel, pony, goat, monkey and dogs rescued, FIR registered

The circus had not registered the animals nor the animal acts with AWBI, and the use of monkeys for performances has been illegal in India since 1998.
Police and PETA personnel rescued the animals  from the circus stationed at Iruppu in Neyveli | Express
Police and PETA personnel rescued the animals from the circus stationed at Iruppu in Neyveli | Express

CHENNAI: In a joint operation, Cuddalore district police and People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India representatives raided the Karur Latha Circus stationed at Iruppu, Neyveli, and rescued a camel, pony, three dogs, a baby monkey and a goat. It was alleged that the management was forcing the animals to perform without a performing animals registration certificate (PARC), and also violated the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

Police and forest authorities were notified of the animals’ use by PETA India which has been monitoring the circus’ activities. The animals have been shifted to permanent, safe places to help them recover from their ordeals.

The FIR was registered at Oomangalam police station, Cuddalore, under Sections 11(1)(a), 11(1)(b), 11(1)(f), 11(1)(g), 11(1)(h), 26(a), and 38(3) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, for inflicting cruelty on animals and forcing them to perform unregistered tricks. The provisions invoked in the FIR also include Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for maiming and rendering the dogs, camel and pony useless by causing them to suffer injuries because of cruel treatment, not treating the injuries and using them for performance despite being in failing health.

The FIR also includes Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972 for holding a scheduled wild animal in possession illegally, in violation of Section 39 of the Act. Monkeys (bonnet macaque) are protected under Schedule I of WPA, 1972 (as amended by the Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act, 2022).

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) is the prescribed authority under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, and regulates the use of animals for performances in the country. The circus had not registered the animals nor the animal acts with AWBI, and the use of monkeys for performances has been illegal in India since 1998.

“Today, children are increasingly aware that the use of animals in circuses involves cruelty and are choosing other forms of entertainment. If circuses want to remain relevant in 2023, they will modernise and go animal-free, using only, adult human performers,” says PETA India manager of cruelty response projects, Meet Ashar.

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