Circus asked to create hygienic conditions for animals
Vijay PinjarkarVijay Pinjarkar, TNN
Jun 16, 2012
NAGPUR: The committee appointed by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), Chennai, to inspect Amar Circus camp in the city has advised them to create hygienic conditions for animals in the circus.
The AWBI is a statutory body working under the ministry of environment & forest (MoEF) to promote animal welfare and protection.
The committee inspected upkeep of animals in the circus on June 9, following a complaint filed by Naresh Kadyan, chairman of People For Animals (PFA), Haryana, on May 25. The committee comprised assistant commissioners of animal husbandry Dr RM Bhojane and Dr KS Bhide, SN Kapoor, co-opted member of AWBI, Dr RW Rewatkar, Dr Chitra Raut, and ACF AD Anjikar.
In its report submitted to AWBI through regional joint commissioner of animal husbandry, the committee has advised to create hygienic conditions, provide ration, vaccination, proper caging and regular deworming. The panel has recommended regular exercise and check-up by qualified vet.
Chandrakant Gadge, owner of Amar Circus, said the circus animals are in good health which had been certified by city vet Dr Mrunalini Sakhre.
There are 3 camels, 17 dogs, 9 horses, 8 birds, 6 ducks, 1 hippopotamus and 1 elephant with the circus. The general health and upkeep of the animals was good and satisfactory.
On the vaccination record of these animals, the panel pointed out that only anti-rabies vaccine was administered to all the animals. However, in case of horses, vaccination against tetanus was not given. The dogs were not immunized against viral and bacterial diseases. Besides, regular deworming and multivitamin and calcium supplements were not given.
"At the time of inspection, 17 dogs were found in the camp when only 12 have been registered with the AWBI," the report pointed out. Gadge assured to comply with the vaccination programme recommended by the inspection team.
The report also says that there is no regular vet on the circus' pay roll, but Gadge said that no vet was ready to work on a regular basis.
Kadyan had approached the board complaining that the hippo working in the circus was blind which amounted to violation or rules. During its inspection, the team found that the hippo was kept in a tank full of dirty water. There was no space to for exercise. The hippo's left eye suffers from lack of vision while the right is partially affected.
Gadge said that they fed the hippo with 40kg potatoes and 20 kg spinach daily. In summers it is fed water melons. "We change the tank water every alternate day," he said. On the hippo suffering from cataract, Gadge said he was willing to pay for the operation if any vet was made available.
On feeding habits, the committee observed that horse, camel and elephant were not given green fodder, but Gadge countered the allegation saying horses were given gram and elephant was fed with jaggery and rotis.
The committee members have said that no record of periodical health check-ups by veterinary surgeons was available for any of the animals. Treatment registers were also not maintained.
Gadge slammed the authorities for not intimating them about the committee's visit to the circus. "I learnt about it through TOI. Had I been informed, I would have been ready with the records. I am yet to receive the committee's report," he said. However, TOI had reported about the committee's visit a day in advance.
Kadyan has sought explanation from AWBI chairman and assistant secretary for allowing a sick hippo and heritage animal like elephant to perform in the circus.