New Delhi, October 4
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has told the Delhi High Court that the Great Golden Circus in Gujarat is the only circus in the entire country which is recognised under the Wildlife Protection Act.
However, a notice has been sent to the circus to show cause why its recognition should not be cancelled for alleged violation of the provisions of the Act with regard to maintenance and display of captive elephants, the CZA has told the high court.
The submissions were made by the authority in its affidavit filed before a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar in response to PILs by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Federation of Indian Animals Protection Organisation (FIAPO), PETA India, represented by advocates Aman Hingorani and Swati Sumby, has claimed in its plea that due to the COVID-19 outbreak and resultant lockdown, circuses are finding it difficult to feed the animals which at various stages of starvation.
It has sought a direction to the Centre to immediately notify the Performing Animals (Registration) Amendment Rules of 2018 which expressly prohibit training and exhibition of performing animals in circuses and “mobile entertainment facilities”.
FIAPO, which is a group of 100 organisations and works towards the protection of animal rights for over a decade, has challenged the constitutional validity of sections 21 to 27 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act so far as they permit exhibition and training of animals in relation to circus acts.
It has contended in the plea that circuses with animals performing tricks often use wild animals, including elephants, hippos, and exotic birds.
It has said these animals are very often used without requisite paperwork certifying their fitness and added that on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been numerous reports of animals being stranded as part of these circuses all over the country and being abandoned by their owners. PTI