The Delhi High Court has directed the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to file an affidavit on the condition of animals in circuses that have been closed.
A bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh, hearing a petition by PETA (Advocates for Ethical Treatment of Animals), India, gave AWBI three weeks to file an affidavit.
PETA’s counsel Aman Hingorani said the AWBI’s already filed affidavit did not specify the condition of such animals.
The High Court in its August 10 order said that advocate Rajesh Kumar Gongna, appearing for respondent no. 3 (AWBI), will have to ensure that within three weeks another affidavit is filed stating the condition of such animals.
Last year, the court was informed by the Federation of Animal Protection Organizations of India (FIAPO) that according to a report filed by AWBI, around 740 circus animals were registered with it, but a survey found only 28.
The Court had then directed the AWBI and the Central Zoo Authority to find out what happened to the missing animals and to file an affidavit on the status of all the circus animals registered with them.
The court had termed it “serious” and “shocking” after the AWBI inspected circuses across the country and found a huge difference in the number of animals compared to those registered with it.