Circus Owners Get Show Cause Notices

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,TNN | Mar 11, 2014

MARGAO: After an inspection of the animals at the Moonlight circus that haven’t been fed properly since March 1, show cause notices were issued to the owners of the circus prior to cancellation of their performing animal registration with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and cancellation of the registration of the circus by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA).

This was in pursuant to complaints filed by Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre (WRCC) and the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO).

After the crime branch arrested the circus owner and five other persons on charges of human trafficking and rape, the animals at the circus were left to starve and were recently shifted to Kudal in Maharashtra.

Puja Mitra, campaign manager, FIAPO, who first took up the issue with the Goa forest department about the welfare of the elephants at the circus site along with the other animals has appealed to the government to set up an animal rescue centre in Goa.

Mitra, who is based in Goa, added that with the creation of rescue centres, the elephants rescued from circuses can live the remainder of their life in natural surroundings without being forced to perform. “While it is cruel for any animal to be used in performance, it is even more so, in the case of the elephant,” added Mitra.

During the inspection of the circus that has four elephants, the AWBI team noted that the animals were also being subjected to cruelty using spiked foot belt to restrict their movement which are banned. Dr R M Kharb, chairman of the AWBI, pointed out that this is in violation of Section 11(1) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and that transportation rules had also been violated.

0724.4 Photo 42 An elephant is tethered by cruel spiked hobbles at the Rambo Circus..JPG-550x0

Please Note: Image of spiked leg holds not from this circus!

Kharb also requested that ‘immediate’ steps be taken to ask the Maharashtra wildlife department to move the wild animals especially the elephants from the Moonlight circus to safe shelters and a final decision about their rehabilitation be taken in due course.

“The effort now should be to remove the animals to safe holdings immediately while the formalities and paper work can continue, otherwise the animals are liable to disappear to unknown places,” said Suparna Ganguly, co-founder trustee of CUPA.

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Hippopotamus Death in Circus Leads to Protest

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It has often been said animals in circus are treated badly.  It has been recently revealed that a hippopotamus has died at Gemini Circus in Kerala.

The incident and other related incidents has led the federation of Indian animal protection organisations (FIAPO) to urge the animal welfare board of India and the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) to make changes so that exploitation done to animals can be stopped.

The FIAPO has made urgent appeal to authorities concerned that protection should be extended to these animals under the Prevention to Cruelty to Animals Act.  It is alleged the hippopotamus has died due to negligent attitude in the circus.

It has already been ruled out by India’s Supreme Court in 1990 that wild animals are banned in circuses.  It has been done so as a number of animals like lions, bears and panthers were facing neglect.

The ban has a positive effect on the animals and it is said that a number of lives were saved due to the same.

“We have urged the authorities to take immediate action against Gemini circus for causing the death of the hippopotamus due to their negligence”, said a spokesperson from the FIAPO.

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Illegal slaughter house in Kamptee poses risk – The Times of India

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NAGPUR: A state-level committee appointed on the direction of Supreme Court has recommended action against Kamptee Municipal Council (KMC) for allowing an illegal slaughter house, said to be one of the biggest in the state.

The state’s animal husbandry department was requested by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), under the ministry of environment and forest, to conduct random inspections of at least 10 licensed slaughter houses every six months as per Supreme Court directions under the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.

Accordingly, a six-member committee consisting of Dr S B Baseshankar, Dr D V Kadoo, Dr K S Bhide, Dr N N Zade, and two co-opted members of AWBI S N Kapoor and Abodh Aras inspected two slaughter houses – Bhandewadi and Kamptee.

On the slaughter house at Kamptee operating in Bhaji Mandi, the panel recommended AWBI to issue notice to the district collector and chief officer of KMC to stop the illegal slaughter of large animals. The panels said around 300 animals are slaughtered here daily ostensibly for domestic consumption but the meat is transported outside illegally. It is exported to Middle-East via Mumbai.

“The illegal business is thriving with blessings of local police and officials. Electric slicers have been installed to slaughter animals. It is shocking how MSEDCL has issued power meters for slicers in residential area,” asks local Congress leader Narendra Sharma.

Sharma says police express helplessness citing law and order problem. “But is the place above people’s health and environment? Water bodies are being polluted and people’s health is at risk,” Sharma said.

Cattle slaughter is allowed for domestic consumption but over the years meat export has become a lucrative business. The slaughter has no checks or certification from any authorized vet. Till the visit of the committee, municipal council used to issue ante-mortem certificates by a vet appointed by commissioner of animal husbandry.

However, ahead of the committee’s visit in April, the chief officer of KMC wrote to animal husbandry department informing there is no large animal slaughter house in Kamptee. Chief officer Ravindra Pandher says plans are afoot to shift the slaughter house outside the city.

KMC vice-president Shahajan Safahat admits it is a nuisance and not acceptable. “Earlier cattle was slaughtered for livelihood but now stakes are higher as beef is being exported. The number of cattle killed certainly doesn’t match local consumption. The slaughter house needs to be shifted elsewhere as it poses serious hazards,” Safahat says.

BJP MLA from Kamptee Chandrashekhar Bawankule says, “I’ve raised the issue several times in the House but the government is doing nothing. A group of 24 NGOs plan to file a petition against the slaughter house,” he says.

Of late, the traders have installed equipment even in households to bring every body part of the animals to use. “The processes to extract oil and cleaning skins creates stench in the area,” Bawankule said.

The MLA says police do not want to take action. Daily five truckloads of beef is transported from Kamptee but police cannot see it.

via Illegal slaughter house in Kamptee poses risk – The Times of India.

Animal welfare board steps in to end castration

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“What a shame the same can’t be done for pigs or other animals that go through painful procedures without anesthetic just to reduce over heads & costs!”


Noting that a “crude” way of cattle castration persisted in the country which amounted to cruelty, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has written to the Veterinary Council of India seeking to make sedation of cattle mandatory during the process. 

AWBI Chairman Dr R M Kharb has written recently to VCI, saying the “crude” method of restraint and castration in many veterinary polyclinics and hospitals was often performed on the animal by casting it on the ground and then using a Burdizzo castrator to crush the spermatic cord.

“This crude method carried without the use of sedatives or anaesthetics causes the animal to experience immense pain, fear and stress, which amounts to cruelty as per Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960,” he said in the letter.

This, therefore, was a “punishable offence.”

Stressing the need for sedatives on the animals, he said they reduce or even eliminate fear and pain during castration and options include short-acting local anaesthetics to longer-acting pain-relief drugs.

All states Vetrinary Councils and Directors, State Animal Husbandry be advised to direct government veterinary hospitals to ensure castrations were performed using sedations, he said.

The Animal Husbandry departments of all state governments were advised to delineate a standard operating procedure (SOP) for field castrations in large animals, which should include use of sedatives anaesthesia and to create inventories of drugs and equipment for this purpose, failure of which “calls for strict action,” under the PCA Act, 1960 he said.

Meanwhile, Animal rights advocacy group, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate welcomed the move saying it will benefit both the bulls and the cattle-owners. 

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