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Delhi High Court Orders Seizure, Rehabilitation of Hippo From Asiad Circus, Issues Non-Bailable Warrant Against Circus Owner, On PETA's Plea

Shreya Agarwal
23 Jan 2021 8:29 AM GMT
Delhi High Court Orders Seizure, Rehabilitation of Hippo From Asiad Circus, Issues Non-Bailable Warrant Against Circus Owner, On PETAs Plea
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The Delhi High Court today directed the Delhi Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to seize a hippopotamus from Asiad Circus with the help of Delhi police and to transfer the animal to the zoo nearest to the location of seizure.A single judge bench of Justice Prathiba Singh, hearing an application by PETA India, also directed the issue of non-bailable warrant to the circus owner...

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The Delhi High Court today directed the Delhi Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to seize a hippopotamus from Asiad Circus with the help of Delhi police and to transfer the animal to the zoo nearest to the location of seizure.

A single judge bench of Justice Prathiba Singh, hearing an application by PETA India, also directed the issue of non-bailable warrant to the circus owner for compulsory appearance during the next hearing, which is scheduled for Apr 15.
PETA India had filed its petition in 2018, seeking the seizure of the hippo from the circus. They sought and to return him to his place of birth, the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, in Patna, where he would be reunited with his mother and father.
The petition was filed following a 2017 report of an investigation into the Asiad Circus, which had revealed that visitors were permitted to get close to the hippo's poorly secured enclosure after the show, putting them at risk of being attacked, and that the enclosure contained only a tiny, filthy water tank and had hard concrete flooring, putting the animal at a serious risk of developing arthritis.
In an application filed on Jan 5, the NGO highlighted that the Asiad Circus had refused to disclose their location for an inspection of the animals by a team authorized by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), pursuant to which, the AWBI had cancelled the performing animals' registration certificate of Asiad Circus in Dec 2020 for refusing to show the animals and disclose their location as per the directions of the Delhi High Court.
Taking note of the NGO's submissions, the court ordered the authorities to ensure that due care should be provided to the animal, who PETA has named 'Vijay', wherever he is rehabilitated.
Adv. Dr. Aman Hingorani, appearing on behalf of PETA India, submitted that the hippo had spent a miserable life confined to a small enclosure at the circus and needs to be rehabilitated as soon as possible.
He said, "This hippo's plight reminds us that animals in circuses are still being beaten to perform confusing tricks and denied everything that's natural and important to them. A ban on the use of animals in circuses is urgently needed."
PETA India has also requested for the court to direct the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to extend the purview of the Central Zoo Authority to include all wild animals, including hippos and birds, who are currently not protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.


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