CZA issued show-cause notice to Ahmedabad’s Great Golden Circus over its recognition

New Delhi: The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has informed the Delhi High Court that it has issued a show-cause notice to the Great Golden Circus in Ahmedabad regarding the cancellation of its recognition, followed by a report relating to the violation of provisions laid under the Wild Life (Protection) Act.

In an affidavit filed before a Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar, the Central Zoo Authority apprised that Great Golden Circus reported possession of two female elephants as captive animals and the office has received communication by the Chief Wildlife Warden, Gujarat informing that the said two female elephants were transferred to the Gombahadur Chhetri Radha Krishna Temple in Jamnagar district in Gujarat for religious activity.

The CZA said that the Proprietor of Great Golden Circus was directed to show cause why recognition of the circus under 38-H of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 should not be cancelled.

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As per Section 38-l(l) of the Act, subject to the other provisions of this Act, no zoo (which also includes circus recognised as a zoo) shall transfer any wild animal or captive animal specified in Schedules I and II except with the previous permission of the CZA. Also, as per Section 38-I(2) a zoo (which also includes circus recognised as a zoo) shall transfer any wild animal or captive animal to only a recognised zoo, the CZA said.

The High Court was hearing two petitions, filed by PETA India and Federation for Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), which has listed the matter for further hearing on October 19.

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PETA India, in its plea, said that the use of weapons and other forms of abuse of animals is inherent, rampant, and widespread in circuses, which commonly violate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001, the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and the Recognition of Zoo Rules, 2009, among others.

FIAPO, on the other hand, had sought to rescue animals in circuses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging Sections 21 to 27 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 to the extent that they permit exhibition and training of animals in/ for/ in relation to circuses acts. The challenge to these Sections will ensure a ban on the use of animals in circuses. 

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