Sunday, 6 November 2011

NGOs move court against Jumbo circus

PANIPAT: Trouble for owners of Jumbo Circus, who had been hogging limelight for all the wrong reasons, is far from over as the court of CJM has admitted a petition against them by representatives of International Organisation for Animal Protection (OPIA), an NGO associated with UN department of information, and Haryana People for Animals, for cruelty against animals.

The Indian representative of the NGO, Naresh Kadyan, who moved the court on Saturday, said that the animals being used for performance purposes by the circus were being kept in pathetic conditions, without proper food and shelter and were even denied medical care as a full time veterinarian, mandatory under the performance rules, had not been appointed by the circus.

The petition stated that owners of the circus transported the animals from Rajasthan to Panipat via Rohtak without proper documentation and certificates of fitness as required by Transport of Animals Rules 2001 under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960 and the Cattle Transport Rules of 1978, as amended in 2001.

The petitioners also accused the circus owners of using some exotic species of animals and birds that were covered under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species ( CITES).

As per official documents, (copies of which are in possession of TOI), the circus had registered eight elephants, 13 Horses, 36 dogs, one hippo, 15 parrots, three camels, one pelican, two donkeys, one goat, two turkeys, eight Persian cats and one emu with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). However, Kadyan said that all these animals were not with the circus which was again a violation of the rules.
The court of CJM, after listening to the petitioner's counsel, admitted the petition and fixed November 8 as the next date of hearing.

Meanwhile, AWBI has already constituted a two-member panel to inspect the animals being used by Jumbo Circus, following allegation that the animals at the circus were being subjected to cruelty and a blind hippo was being used during performances. The Haryana chief wildlife warden had also denied permission to the circus to hold shows in Panipat unless it discontinued the use of blind Hippo, named Raja, for performance.

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