AWBI has decided to slap legal notices on a circus if it is found to be forcing injured animals to perform in shows. (Agencies)
The 39th AWBI general meeting also decided to stop registration of elephants for performance under the Performing Animals Rules in view of the rampant cruelty and abuse they were subjected to.
"AWBI also decided that a proposal for inclusion of elephants in the list of banned animals under the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001, be sent to the Ministry of Environment for consideration," according to the minutes of the meeting, which was held in Chennai.
The decision follows a nine-month-long AWBI-authorized investigation of circuses across India conducted by a team comprising, among others, representatives from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Animal Rahat.
AWBI said that legal notices may be issued to circuses for using sick, injured and unregistered animals for performances.
Any injured or aged animals found performing at circuses are to be seized following arrangements for their rehabilitation, AWBI said.
Confirming the decision, PETA India officials said that the findings of their study revealed that cruelty towards animals was inherent in the circus business, a conclusion which has already led to numerous countries altogether banning the use of animals in circuses.
"It is high time for a ban on the use of all animals in Indian circuses. We ask everybody to stay away from circuses which use animals, as they make the lives of such animals a living nightmare," said Manilal Valliyate, director of veterinary affairs at PETA India.
AWBI has decided to slap legal notices on a circus if it is found to be forcing injured animals to perform in shows.