20 Aug 2020 8:29 AM GMT
Delhi High Court has allowed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) to participate in the survey conducted by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to identify the condition of animals who are kept in circuses. The Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajneesh Bhatnagar has also...
Delhi High Court has allowed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) to participate in the survey conducted by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to identify the condition of animals who are kept in circuses.
The Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajneesh Bhatnagar has also given permission to PETA and FIAPO to provide food and medicines in case they find any animal in distress during the survey.
The order has come in writ petitions moved by PETA India and FIAPO seeking a direction to be issued to the Union of India, AWBI, Central Zoo Authority and registered circuses to ensure immediate prohibition on training and exhibition of performing animals in circuses and mobile entertainment facilities.
In addition to this, the petition filed by FIAPO has also separately challenged the validity of Section 21-27 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to the extent that they permit exhibition and training of animals for circuses.
During the last hearing, the court had pulled up AWBI for not conducting physical surveys for ascertaining conditions of animals and simply relying on the correspondence conducted with registered circuses. The court had directed the said Board to conduct a survey in the presence of veterinarians and submit a report by September 29.
Today, PETA argued that it should be allowed to enter circuses and provide food and medicines to animals in distress.
'If we wait for the survey to be conducted, many animals will be sacrificed', PETA argued.
Advocate Aman Hingorani for PETA further submitted that it has officers working at grassroot level who can provide immediate relief to the animals.
'If we enter without an authority, the circuses won't let us in. That's why we seek a direction from the court in this regard', PETA argued.
Registered circuses such as Great Bombay Circus and Jumbo Circus resisted the demand put forward by the Petitioners by submitting that these organisations undermine the symbiotic relationship between the animal and the caretaker, they enter premises with preconceived agenda and take away the animals.
'We have no objection to Petitioners participating in the survey as long as it is conducted by a statutory authority', circuses submitted.
Animal Welfare Board, on the other hand, submitted that it is the statutory duty of the Board to provide assistance to animals and the Petitioners, which are private bodies, should not be asked to interfere with the same.
'We're not interested in this rat race as to who should help the animals', court responded.
Therefore, the Petitioners are allowed to participate in the survey and assist the animals in distress. The Respondent Circuses have been asked to not to disrupt the assistance work carried out by the Petitioners.
In addition to this, notices have also been issued to the various Ministries of the Central Government as well as to the AWBI to file counter affidavits on the issue of validity of Sections 21-27 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The court will next take up the matter on September 29.