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As the Animal Welfare Board of India's recent inspection reveals, animals used in Indian circuses are subjected to chronic confinement, physical abuse, and psychological torment. Whips and other weapons, including ankuses –heavy, sharp steel-tipped rods – are used to inflict pain on animals and beat them into submission. Animals perform frightening, confusing tricks, such as jumping through rings of fire, not because they want to but out of fear of violent punishment.
Even when they aren't performing, animals used in circuses endure a lifetime of misery. Their access to water, food, and veterinary care is often severely restricted. Dogs may be crammed into wire cages and rarely let out. Birds are often confined to tiny, filthy cages, and their wings may be crudely clipped so that they cannot fly. Horses are typically kept tethered on short ropes, and elephants are often shackled by their legs.
While Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, and Greece have outlawed the use of all animals in circuses, the Indian government has so far banned only the use of bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, and lions in performances. Let officials know that other species are suffering, too.
Follow the steps below to ensure your voice is heard in favour of a ban on the use of animals in Indian circuses.
What You Can Do
Please add your voice to PETA's by letting officials know that all animals who are exhibited or forced to perform in circuses are suffering.