India Bans Use of Wild Animals in Circuses
India Today reports that after year-long inspections and monitoring, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) “passed orders cancelling the recognition of all circuses across the country that make wild animals perform tricks.”
During the evaluation, the CZA, supported by both animal rights groups and veterinarians, “found substantial evidence of cruelty and abuse against elephants,” which led to the cancelled registration of seven circus operators.
Elephants have now been added to India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which already barred “bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, and lions from being exhibited or trained as performing animals.” CZA member secretary DN Singh stated:
“Deregistration process was carried out based on a series of investigations. The probe showed that animals were being maintained in circuses in cruel conditions and were tortured to extract performances. Some of the owners of circuses even submitted morphed photographs to us in a bid to claim that animals were kept well.”
The CZA has also directed that the elephants from the now deregistered circuses be rehabilitated.
Earlier this month, New York State also banned the use of elephants in all entertainment acts.