New Delhi: One lakh school students from across the country on Monday submitted a signature petition urging the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries to pass draft rules to ban the use of all animals in circuses.
The students, from both private and government schools, in the petition said “circuses are notoriously cruel where animals are continuously chained or confined to small, barren cages and deprived of veterinary care and adequate food, water, and shelter”.
“We young people know circuses are no fun for animals! Animals don’t want to be caged, chained or beaten. Circuses can have willing human-only performers instead,” said Sitara Priyanth, a class 5 student, who took part in the signature campaign.
According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, if the rules are passed, India would join Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, and Malta in banning the use of animals in circuses.
“Sensitive animals exploited by archaic circuses have true allies in today’s caring young people. Every one of these signatures is from a young person who wants to make India a kinder country for all, including animals,” said PETA India Associate Director of Education and Youth Outreach Puja Mahajan.
In addition to being cruel for animals, circuses, as per PETA India, are also breeding grounds for zoonotic diseases (those that can jump from other animals to humans), including tuberculosis (found in elephants), glanders (found in horses), parrot fever (found in birds), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, which is caused by COVID-19 and can be transmitted to humans from camels.