Animal Welfare Board Inspectors Find Illegal Use of Animals for Performances

Madurai, Tamil Nadu– Following a complaint filed against Global Circus – which was recently camped in the Madurai District of Tamil Nadu – by Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)–authorised inspectors, the circus management relinquished all 3 dogs in its possession to the AWBI immediately for rehabilitation and pledged to become an animal-free, human-only circus. The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) helped establish the circus’s offenses and facilitated the rescue effort. The animals have been moved to a sanctuary run by People for Cattle in India (PFCI) Chennai, where they will be cared for and given treatment for their injuries.

Global Circus also signed an affidavit promising never to use animals again. The inspection team established that the circus was using animals in direct violation of the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001, since AWBI had not issued the Performing Animal Registration Certificate to the circus, which is mandatory to use animals for shows. This prompted the AWBI to write to the Madurai Deputy Commissioner requesting action.

The inspectors further documented that the dogs were forces to perform in the ring using cruel methods and that a dog that refused to comply with the instructions of the ringmaster was beaten and dragged around. The dogs were also forced to roll on the ground, jump over multiple obstacles, push a trolley, hold an umbrella and walk only on their hind legs. The animals were kept in filthy conditions and were not being provided with adequate food and water.

“Animals held by Global Circus can begin to recover in our shelter at last. But other circuses still condemn animals to chronic confinement and force them to perform for human amusement”, said Arun Prasanna, Founder of PFCI

Prashanth V, senior campaign manager at FIAPO, says, “We are extremely glad that we could collectively secure the freedom for all abused animals at Global circus. That the circus has voluntarily relinquished animals indicates that these establishments are unable to adequately care for the animals in their custody. Nationwide support for animal free circuses is growing by the day and we appeal the Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar, to ban the use of animals in circuses completely.”