Delhi High Court has allowed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organization (FIAPO) to participate in the survey conducted by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to identify the condition of animals which are kept in the circuses. The Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajneesh Bhatnagar have given permission to PETA and FIAPO to provide food and medicines in case they find any animal injured during the survey.
The order has come in writ Petitions moved by the PETA India and FIAPO seeking a direction to be issued to the Union of India, AWBI, Central Zoo Authority, and registered circuses to ensure immediate prohibition on training and exhibition of performing animals in circuses and mobile entertainment facilities. In addition, a petition was also filed by FIAPO has also separately questioned the validity of Section 21-27 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to the extent that they permit exhibition and training of animals for circuses. During the last hearing, the court has questioned AWBI for not conducting physical surveys of conditions of animals but rather simply relied on the correspondence conducted by the registered circuses. The court has directed the said Board to conduct a survey in the presence of veterinarians and submit the report of the same by September 29.
In today’s hearing, PETA has argued that they should be allowed to enter the circus premises and feed the animals or be able to provide proper medical treatment to the ones who are injured. They argued that if they waited until the survey is conducted, many animals will be sacrificed. They also argued that if they try to enter the circus without the authority, the circuses won’t let them in. That’s why they are seeking an order from the court itself in this regard. Registered circuses like Great Bombay Circus and Jumbo Circus resisted the demand which was put forwarded by the petitioners that they have submitted reports telling that these organizations undermine the symbiotic relationship between the animal and the caretaker, they enter the premises with preconceived agenda and take away the animals.