New Delhi: Animal rights body PETA India on Monday submitted a petition to the environment ministry backing the Centre's proposal to ban use of animals in circuses.
The petition has been signed by over 8,000 people, including school and college students, and celebrities, the body said.
The central government recently proposed prohibition on the use of animals for performances, exhibition at any circus or mobile entertainment facilities, a move which was hailed by animal rights activists as "progressive and laudable".
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India said apart from students, the petition has been signed by celebrities like Raveena Tandon, Sonu Sood, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, John Abraham, R Madhavan, Dia Mirza and Sunny Leone.
"It is never been clearer that the days of forcing intelligent, sensitive animals to perform confusing and often painful tricks for fleeting human amusement are numbered," the animal rights body's associate director (celebrity and public relations) in India, Sachin Bangera, said.
The environment ministry, in a draft notification on 28 November, invited comments from various stakeholders on the issue within 30 days.
"India is poised to protect animals, and every kind celebrity and youngster who teamed up with PETA, India, to help push this revolutionary legislation forward will be remembered on the right side of history," Bangera said.
Students from schools such as Mumbai's Ajmera Global School and Apostolic Carmel High School and Junior College, Delhi's Vishal Bharti Public School and Chennai's German International School signed the petition.
The body said in 2013, the government-authorised inspection of 16 circuses across India as well as other inspections by expert teams from 2013 to 2016 revealed systemic, widespread abuse of elephants, horses, camels, dogs, birds, and other animals.
Drunken circus staff roughly handled animals, handlers were documented beating elephants with ankuses (weapons with a sharp metal hook on one end), and animals were kept continuously chained or caged and deprived of veterinary care, appropriate food, sufficient water, and safe and clean shelter, PETA India said.
PETA India noted that if this proposal passes, India would join many other countries, including Austria, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Greece, Mexico and Poland, in banning or restricting the use of animals in circuses.
Updated Date: Dec 24, 2018 18:32:13 IST