FIAPO urges the Center to end the use of animals in circuses

CHENNAI: The crisis has led many animal lovers and organizations to care for the community. animals in the streets. But those in are still in need of help. That’s why the Federation of India n Animal Protection Organisations () has written to Union minister of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying Giriraj Singh requesting him to end the use of animals in circuses and ensure that the surrendered animals receive food, nutrition, and medical care during this crisis.

During the lockdown, circuses across India have been struggling to meet their daily income needs to feed animals used by them for entertainment. Even major circuses brands like Rambo and Jumbo are struggling for survival and to ensure the livelihood of their workers.

Multiple reports have emerged of circuses in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and parts of Kerala where the owners now have to make a choice between feeding their staff and feeding the animals . At this time, it is critical for the well-being of the animals that circuses surrender them to capable animal shelters who are opening their doors to animals in captivity.

“At the best of times, circuses have proven to be extremely cruel to animals . Both wild and domestic animals in circuses are trained to perform unnatural tricks through a pain and fear response. Dogs, horses, elephants, camels, ponies and even a range of exotic birds are regularly disciplined by metal rods, wooden sticks, whips, hooks, and spiked belts to obey and perform,” said Varda Mehrotra, executive director, FIAPO.

“And now, during the Covid-19 crisis, we can only imagine their plight when the income of circus owners has ceased and food has become scarce. They should simply surrender the animals to animal welfare organisations that are willing and equipped to take care of the animals .”

FIAPO requested the minister to carry forward the work of the 2018 draft notification banning all animals from circuses that came about after a detailed FIAPO investigation titled ‘End Circus Suffering’, and a strong recommendation by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).

In 1998, the government banned bears, monkeys, lions, panthers, and tigers from circuses. In 2016, the AWBI refused to give permission to use elephants in circuses.