A nine-month probe in 16 circuses conducted jointly by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and Animal Rahat revealed that animals are often chained, beaten and forced to perform tricks during the shows.
The circuses were violating the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960, they said.
"It is high time for a ban on use of animals in Indian circuses as cruelty to animals is inherent in the circus as they are subjected to routine abuse. Many countries like Greece, Cyprus, Bosnia have banned animal circuses," said Manilal Valliyate, PETA's director of veterinary affairs.
The investigation found that animals in circuses suffer from psychological distress, severe physical abuse and are not provided proper food and water.
The probe was conducted between November 2012 and July 2013.
"Among the 16 circuses investigated, only the Great Champion circus had no performances by animals while the other 15 like Jumbo circus, Rajkamal circus, Great Bombay circus, Great Royal circus were using iron hooks, sticks with nails and whips to make animals perform," Valliyate said.
The animal rights activists have urged the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory advisory body under the ministry of environment and forests to ban the use of animals in circuses.
"We have presented our report and video clippings showing animals bleeding with wounds and performing, drunken circus staff handling animals, wings of birds crudely cut with blades to prevent them from flying to the AWBI and environment ministry," the activists said.
--IANS (Posted on 04-09-2013)