The government is expected to vote on the proposal after the public feedback period ends on December 27.
Mumbai: Over 8,000 school and college students and celebrities have signed in support of the ministry of environment, forest and climate change’s (MoEF & CC’s) proposed notification to ban the use of elephants, horses and other animals in circuses across the country. The government is expected to vote on the proposal after the public feedback period ends on December 27.
In 2013, a nine-month 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. Many exhibited signs of psychological distress, including constant swaying and self-mutilation.
In its nearly two decades of efforts to end the use of animals in circuses, NGO PETA India has elicited the help of compassionate celebrities, petitioned the MoEF & CC, worked with government regulatory bodies such as the Animal Welfare Board of India and Central Zoo Authority, engaged in litigation, organised demonstrations and social media campaigns, and held street performances.