Maneka hails Centre’s move for animal-free circuses

New Delhi/Lucknow : Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Saturday welcomed the Centre’s proposed move to ban all animals in circuses, saying the decision has been “long overdue.”

When asked to comment on the Centre’s proposal to ban all animals in circuses, the Union Minister said, “It should be done. It has been long overdue.”

Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in a draft notification has reportedly invited comments from various stakeholders on the use of animals in circuses across the country. “No animals shall be used for any performances or exhibition at any circus or mobile entertainment facility,” reads the draft notification.

Animal rights activist Gauri Mulekhi said the existing rules prohibit the use of bears, lions, monkeys, panthers, and tigers for
performances but many circuses continue to use other animals like dogs, horses, hippos, elephants and some birds.

“The animals are kept in deplorable conditions and forced to display unnatural performances such as walking on two legs or jumping through fires. We believe there are about 30 circuses in the country but only seven or eight of these have stopped animal performances and engage only in acrobatics,” said Mulekhi.

“The management of other circuses continues, engaging animals. We welcome the Centre’s move to ban all animals in circuses. We have the draft of rules which has been prepared soon takes the shape of law,” added Mulekhi.

It is worth mentioning that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has extended support to the Central government for its move to “prohibit the use of animals for any performances or exhibition at any circus or mobile entertainment facility.”