Help Stop Animals From Suffering in Indian Circuses

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As the Animal Welfare Board of India's inspection reveals, animals used in Indian circuses are subjected to chronic confinement, physical abuse, and psychological torment. Whips, bullhooks—weapons resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end—and other devices are used to inflict pain on the animals and beat them into submission. They perform frightening, confusing tricks, such as jumping through rings of fire, not because they want to but out of fear of violent punishment.

animals used in circus acts

Even when they aren't performing, animals used in circuses endure a lifetime of misery. Their access to water, food, and veterinary care is often severely restricted. Dogs may be crammed into wire crates and rarely let out. Birds are often confined to tiny, filthy cages, and their wings may be crudely clipped so that they can't fly. Horses are typically kept tethered on short ropes, and elephants are often kept shackled.

dogs in cages at moonlight circus
Dogs forced to live on iron mesh at Moonlight Circus.

Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, and Greece have outlawed the use of all animals in circuses, but so far, the Indian government has banned only the use of bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, and lions. Let officials in the country know that other species are suffering, too.

What You Can Do

Please add your voice to PETA's by letting Indian officials know that all animals who are exhibited or forced to perform in circuses are suffering.

Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Central Zoo Authority
Animal Welfare
Board of India

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