Panipat, October 25
Following reports of a blind hippo being used by Jumbo Circus published in these columns and complaints filed by animal activist Naresh Kadyan, the Animal Welfare Board of India has constituted a panel to inspect the hippo and the conditions under which other animals are kept by the circus staff.
In a formal communiqué sent to Panipat deputy commissioner JS Ahlawat, the board stated that a special team, comprising Dr LR Raheja, deputy director, Animal Husbandry Department, and Kulvir Singh, co-opted member of the board and forest department, had been constituted to inspect the animal and the conditions under which the animals were kept at the Jumbo Circus, presently running shows at the local sectors 13-17.
The board said it had received a complaint in which it was alleged that animals sheltered in Jumbo Circus were being used to perform without any registration with of the board.
It was learnt that the circus had got registered eight elephants, 13 horses, 13 dogs, one hippo, 15 parrots, three camels and one pelican as on May 13, 2004. The circus added two donkeys, one goat, two turkey, 13 dogs, eight Persian cats and one Emu which were registered with the board on September 7, 2009.
The animal activist, in his complaint, had stated that the animals were not provided proper shelter, food and medical treatment.
Vinod Kumar, assistant sectary, AWBI, said if these allegations were proved, it would be a violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and other animal laws and would call for a legal action.
Besides, the board also asked the deputy commissioner to ensure that the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was asked to perform its duties and take immediate steps to make certain that there was no violation of the PCA Act 1960.