Help Prohibit the Use of Animals in Circuses

Inspections by the Animal Welfare Board of India have revealed that animals used in Indian circuses are subjected to chronic confinement, physical abuse, and psychological torment. Whips and other weapons are used to inflict pain on them 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 small, filthy cages, and their wings are crudely clipped so that they can’t fly, and horses are typically kept tethered on short ropes.

Although Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, and Malta have outlawed the use of all animals in circuses, the Indian government has so far prohibited the use of only certain species - bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions, and bulls in performances.

What You Can Do

Sign the appeal below in favour of prohibiting the use of animals in Indian circuses.

The compiled signatures will be delivered to the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.



Dear Minister,

I was delighted to learn that the central government has issued draft rules proposing to prohibit the use of all animals in circuses across India. I am writing to support the draft rules notified by the Ministry on 28 November 2018 and request that you pass them as is. This positive move would bring India in line with other countries that have already prohibited the use of all animals in circuses and show the world that ours is a progressive, compassionate nation that does not tolerate animal abuse.

In numerous inspections of Indian circuses, the Animal Welfare Board of India has found that animals who are exhibited or forced to perform suffer. They don’t voluntarily jump through rings of fire or perform other frightening tricks – they do so out of fear of violent punishment. Circus trainers often use whips, sticks, and other weapons to inflict fear, pain, and injuries on animals in order to force them into submission and obedience. Animals used in circuses are confined to small, barren cages when not performing.

Circuses don’t need to use animals. They can successfully offer shows with only willing human performers.

There is no place for cruelty to animals in a civilised society. Hence, I request that the government pass the proposed rules to prohibit the use of all animals in circuses.


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