Conduct survey on animals in circuses: HC

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Animal Welfare Board to conduct a nationwide survey to find out the number of animals in circuses, which are unable to perform due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and consider rehabilitating them to the nearest zoos.

A Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar said the Board should raise specific query to circus officials whether they are in a position to maintain the animals or need to be surrendered to it for rehabilitation to the nearest zoos.

The court issued notices to the Ministries of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying; Ministry of Environment and Forests; Central Zoo Authority and Animal Welfare Board of India while posting the case for further hearing on August 14.

The direction came while heating a plea by the Federation of Indian Animals Protection seeking to declare the Performing Animal Rules, 1973 and Performing Animal (Registration) Rules, 2001 to the extent that they allow registration of animals as ‘performing animals’ for circuses as against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Constitution of India.

The plea stated that on account of 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.

“This will lead to numerous animals perishing on account of starvation and unsanitary conditions,” the plea said.

The petition stated that in 2018, the Centre notifed a draft rule to be introduced in the PARR which prohibited the exhibition of any animals in a circus or mobile entertainment facility. However, this proposal has remain exactly that, a proposal, and ni developments on the same have taken place in the last two years.

The petition has sought direction to formulate appropriate scheme for rescue, rehabilitation and relocation of all animals rescued from circuses.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 10:17:01 PM |

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