End Circus Suffering in India, says Asia for Animals


Letter Addressed To:

Shri Anil Madhav
Dave Honorable Minister
Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
4th Floor, Aakash Block, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan
New Delhi – 110003

Dear Minister,

We are writing on behalf of the Asia for Animals Coalition, representing international animal welfare and conservation organisations. We express our deep concerns with regards to the continued use of wild animals in circuses.

The Asia for Animals coalition supports the End Circus Suffering campaign, orchestrated by AfA member organisation Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), whose aim is to stop animals from being abused in circuses across India.

Institutionalized cruelty to animals in circuses is often unnoticed by the public and in many cases accepted as normal within the industry. We are informed that animals are condemned to a life of suffering in the 53 circuses in India. Animal circuses are also reportedly at the epicentre of wildlife trafficking, illegal trade in animals and animal parts, illegal breeding, poaching, and human trafficking.

There is widespread awareness of the illegal and unethical treatment of animals in circuses in civil society, local governments which have facilitated the rescue of more than 160 animals, and the judiciary which has repeatedly ruled in favor of rehabilitation of circus animals. Many circuses have also voluntarily given up their animals to be rehabilitated after recognizing the futility of their continued exploitation.

Teaching animals to perform inappropriate tricks portrays them to the public in a humiliating manner, instead of showing their natural grace and beauty. Circuses desensitise society, particularly young children, to animal abuse in the name of entertainment. This messaging is at complete odds with the high values of compassion that India’s culture prescribes.

End Circus Suffering aims to bring an end to cruelty to animals in circuses. FIAPO works with partner organisations all over the country towards this goal. The Asia for Animals coalition supports the campaign and endorses a complete ban on using animals for entertainment in circuses.

Cruel practices in circuses continue due to the lack of effective legislation. Repeated violation of existing rules by circuses proves that nothing short of a ban will free the animals from this form of institutional abuse.

We respectfully urge you to prohibit the use of animals in circuses and uphold the high standards of compassion and equality that are prescribed in the Indian constitution.

Sent on behalf of the following organisations:

  1. Animal Guardians
  2. Animal People
  3. Animals Asia Foundation
  4. ACRES
  5. Blue Cross of India
  6. Change for Animals Foundation
  7. Elephant Aid International
  8. Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations
  9. Humane Society International
  10. International Animal Rescue
  11. International Fund for Animal Welfare
  12. Philippine Animal Welfare Society
  13. Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  14. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Hong Kong
  15. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Sarawak, Malaysia
  16. World Animal Protection


Copied to:

Mr. Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India,
Prime Minister’s office,
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi 110011

Image courtesy Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations

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About Author

The Asia For Animals (AfA) Coalition is composed of 16 well-known and respected animal welfare organisations that have a shared focus on improving the welfare of animals in Asia. We are committed to providing support to organisations to help with their campaigns to tackle some of the most pressing animal welfare concerns in the region. Click to see author's profile.

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