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Thrissur (Kerala), April 17 – The Kerala Police have registered an FIR against the proprietors of ‘Great Bombay Circus’ for lacerating the wings of birds during their performances to prevent them from flying away as well as for using unregistered animals, and forcing them to do tricks that were not registered with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).
The action was taken following a complaint from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.
The AWBI is the prescribed authority under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, which regulates the use of animals for performances in the country.
The FIR was registered at the Thrissur East police station for cognisable offences under Sections 429 and 289 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for maiming the birds and negligent conduct with respect to an animal.
Further, the FIR also records violations of sections 3 and 11(1)(a) (for causing unnecessary and pain and suffering to animals), 11(1) (l) (for mutilation of birds), and sections 26 and 38 (for using unregistered birds and making the animals and birds do unregistered acts/tricks) of the PCA Act, 1960.
“To prevent birds from exercising their natural right of flying, circuses repeatedly lacerate birds’ wings and put them in cages,” says PETA India Cruelty Response Coordinator Saloni Sakaria. “PETA India urges families to support only those forms of entertainment which use consenting humans.”
Since 2022, trial proceedings against Great Bombay Circus have been pending before the Court of Judicial Magistrate of First Class, Malalavdi. This was based on an FIR registered against the circus by the Mysuru police following a complaint by PETA India for similar offences relating to cruelty towards birds and violations of their performing animals registration certificate.
Several AWBI inspections and numerous investigations by PETA India proved that animal circuses are cruel: in them, animals are continuously chained or confined to small, barren cages; deprived of veterinary care and adequate food, water, and shelter; and denied everything that’s natural and important to them. Through physical abuse with weapons, they’re forced to perform confusing, uncomfortable, and even painful tricks. Many display stereotypic, repetitive behaviour indicative of extreme stress, PETA India stated.