Winning a battle in an ongoing War – Animals rescued from the Jamuna Circus…

Circuses have been considered a fascinating means of entertainment, for ages now. However, one does not realize the extremely cruel methods and means of intimidation that are adopted to make the animals perform such unnatural acts. The infliction of cruelty begins from the starting point, wherein the animals are acquired, housed in deplorable, cramped spaces, put under stressful conditions, with unending imprisonment and inadequate food and exercise.

Their systematic abuse results in ‘spectacular performances’ wherein unbeknownst to us, the cost of our entertainment is physical torture, hunger and fear for these animals.

The ‘End Circus Suffering’ Campaign by FIAPO looks at making the performance of animals in circuses a thing of the past. In conjunction with various member organizations across the nation, FIAPO, in a short span of time has managed to rescue 104 animals from 9 circuses across India.

The latest success story, to this ongoing battle to get these sentient beings the freedom they deserve, is that of the rescue and rehabilitation of animals from the Jamuna Circus which was led by the People for Animals Hyderabad and facilitated by FIAPO.

All animals at the circus, including 1 elephant 8 dogs, 7 pups, 5 exotic birds and 6 geese, have been rescued and are on their way to a permanent care center. The elephant is temporarily housed at the Hyderabad zoo and will eventually be rehabilitated at Wildlife SOS, the remaining animals have found a forever home at the Blue Cross of Hyderabad.

Dattatreya Joshi. CEO PFA Hyderabad lead the 20-day long operation to secure the safe release of animals from the abusive circus. In his capacity as the Honorary Animal Welfare officer with the AWBI, Mr. Joshi conducted a thorough inspection of the circus and all the animals in its camp at Mehboobnagar. What he found during the inspection was a shocking reminder of the abysmal conditions in which circuses keep their animals. His findings included pregnant dogs which were bred without license from the AWBI and had maggot wounds and injuries due to hitting, horses who had badly overgrown hooves and their pens had rusted metal rods which were in close proximity to open electrical wiring, birds which were mutilated by having their flight feathers cut. The elephant with the circus had multiple ailments, including an injured right front leg, as reported in detail by the veterinarian accompanying the team

PFA Hyderabad immediately lodged an FIR based on the inspection report, and urged the police and the local court to confiscate the animals. After hearing PFA’s arguments and looking at the report, CJM Shaadnagar ordered that the animals be moved from the circus and rehabilitated. This is only the second judgment in the country ordering rehab of all animals from a circus, the first one being from Moonlight circus in April 2015.

PFA hailed the rescue as a welcome relief to all animals at Jamuna circus and also as a validation of the fact that the judiciary is able to look through the misleading veil that circuses cast to exploit the loopholes in the law and continue to ill-treat animals.

Jamuna circus is one of the 53 circuses in India which have made a business out of animal cruelty. In addition to the present laws that exist in the nation that helped facilitate the rescue, it is imperative that the usage of animals in circuses is banned completely so that the next generation does not stand witness to this barbaric practice in the guise of entertainment.

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