New Delhi: Observing the draping of elephant statues in Uttar Pradesh, Animal rights body People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Friday appealed to the Election Commission to allow it to use them as a podium to expose cruelty against elephants in circuses.
   
In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, PETA urged him to request the Uttar Pradesh government to open the city's parks for them.
   
"While the elephant statues are covered, we'd like to put banners on them that read - 'Cover-Up by the Big Top: Elephants in the Circus Are Beaten and Shackled’," it said.
   
Under the order of the Election Commission, all statues of Chief Minister Mayawati and her party poll symbol, the elephant, are now being draped with clothes or plastic sheets.
   
This is being done to not let these statues at various parks and memorials influence the choices of voters during the seven-phased assembly elections which will run from February 4 till February 28.
   
The animal rights group said that if allowed to place banners on those drapings, it would help expose the cruelty against animals in circuses.
   
"When they're not being forced to perform meaningless tricks that are confusing to them, elephants used in circuses are kept shackled. These majestic creatures are trained through beatings and fear of physical punishment," it said.
   
Requesting Quraishi to consider their request, the international animal rights group said it would help them encourage people worldwide to boycott circuses, thereby helping countless animals whose pains go unnoticed.
   
(Agencies)