Animals ill-treated at circus: PeTA

Youth Congress stage a counter protest supporting Jumbo circus

A protest by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) against using animals in Jumbo Circus was met with a counter protest by members of Youth Congress here on Tuesday.

The drama unfolded as a dozen members from PeTA attempted to stage a protest near the Jumbo Circus venue - behind Karanji lake in Nazarbad. Their protest was interrupted by some members of the media and Youth Congress, who questioned the motive of the protest being staged.

Protest

Members of PeTA, led by campaign assistant, Grishma Mehta, alleged that the Jumbo Circus was among the 16 circuses inspected by Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). The inspection team’s findings irrefutably reveal the overwhelmingly miserable conditions for animals forced to perform in circuses of India.

Therefore, a ban should be enforced on the use of animals in circuses in Karnataka by the State and circuses with only human performers be allowed to perform, she said.

According to an investigative report by PeTA, Jumbo Circus is among the circuses that used sharp weapons to handle the animals, did not provide veterinary care and against which evidence of falsification of documents regarding animals used for performance, was found.

The report also listed instances of cruelty found at circuses, where elephants were tethered by two or three legs (in 97.36 per cent elephants inspected), equines suffered from serious hoof ailments (above 90 per cent) and animals being forced to perform stunts that were not registered by AWBI (100 per cent).

Citing the report, PeTA members urged the Ministry of Environment and Forests to ban the use of animals in circuses. “The use of bulls, bears, monkeys, tigers, lions and panthers for performance have already been banned in the country. Abuse of other animal species at zoos must also stop,” they said.

Commenting on the opposition for their protest, Grishma said that PeTA just wanted to bring to fore the aspect of animal abuse. “It is now up to the people to be aware of the cruelties and to react against it,” she said.

Quoting the Great Champion Circus, she said that the popularity of the circus which does not use animals must be emulated by other circuses. “We are not against circuses. We are against abusing animals for the entertainment of humans,” she added.

Counter protest

Members of Youth Congress staged a counter protest at the venue. “Jumbo Circus must stay in the city. All the animals and their trainers share a cordial relationship with animals. PeTA is deliberately trying to defame Jumbo Circus,” C S Raghu, president of Chamaraja constituency said.

“Animals are also being ill treated at Mysore Zoo and Amba Vilas Palace premises. Why such a protest for the welfare of animals not held in those places,” the counter protestors questioned PeTA members. Officials from Jumbo Circus who were at the venue, also supported the protest by the Youth Congress.

Responding to a question, Raghu said that they had no information before hand on the protest by PeTA. “We had gone to see the circus. Since, a protest against Jumbo Circus was being staged, we staged a ‘flash protest’ in support of Jumbo Circus,” he said.

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