The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) and Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), Delhi-based statutory bodies under Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) have issued show cause notice to Moonlight Circus and other circuses following investigation by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India. The owner of Moonlight Circus was recently arrested in Margao in south Goa for alleged rape of a minor girl and human trafficking.

Manilal Valliyate of PETA India told The Hindu that the CZA issued notice on February 14 last, whereas AWBI notice have been issued on different dates such as December 11, 2013, January 23, 2014, among others.

Poorva Joshipura, CEO, PETA India, said the Government bodies have issued show cause notice to circus owners following a nine-month-long investigation of 16 circuses conducted by a team including representatives from PETA India and Animal Rahat as authorised by the AWBI. CZA in its show cause notice conveyed that it is considering withdrawing the recognition of circuses as a ‘captive animal facility’, making them an illegal establishment.