Mumbai calls for abolition of animals in circus
After promoting the cause of stray and abandoned animals, Mumbai is now gearing up to fight for the rights of circus animals across the country.
Members of an animal rights organisation protested outside a circus camp in Bandra on Friday. The protesters, chained and wearing masks of elephants, held signs that read, ‘Abolish -Slavery: Ban Animal Circuses’. According to the animal rights activists, all circus animals are treated like slaves. “Slavery of animals is akin to slavery of humans,” says campaigner Abhishek Mudaliar, adding, “Animals in circuses across India are routinely chained and beaten. They are subjected to chronic confinement, physical abuse and psychological torment. Whips and other weapons like heavy steel-tipped rods are often used to inflict pain and beat them into submission. Animals and birds perform confusing, unnatural tricks â€” for example, parrots riding bicycles, standing on their heads or jumping through rings of fire.
They don’t do it because they want to, but out of fear of violent punishment. It’s high time the government banned the archaic use of animals in circuses. We’re appealing to parents whose kids love animals to steer clear of circuses that use animals.”
The central government has already banned the use of bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions and bulls in performances. “We are calling on the Government of India to follow the lead of Bolivia and Greece, which have banned the use of all animals. Why must we have dogs or parrots in our circuses?” Abhishek added. Bollywood also feels strongly about the case. Here’s what some of the stars said.
B-town’s ‘pet’ cause:
Celina Jaitly: Circus animals are kept in horrendous conditions. Dogs are crammed into dirty cages and hardly ever let out. Birds are locked inside cramped cages, and their wings are clipped so that they cannot fly. They pay a heavy price for a fleeting moment of human amusement. Nature has enough for man’s needs, not his greed. If you want to see animals perform, watch them at their best in a nature documentary.
Rahul Khanna: Most children naturally love animals and would never knowingly support anything that involve treating them cruelly. Circuses can and do exist only because of willing human adults.
Raveena Tandon Thadani: Animals in circuses lead a life of endless confinement, constant physical abuse and psychological torment. Animals are not natural performers like us. We are the entertainers, not them. They belong in their natural homes, not suffering under the Big Top.