Timed to coincide with Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrated as the birthday of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, the animal's rights group has planned a protest Tuesday in the national capital to demand a ban on the use of elephants in circuses.
"Every day, elephants in India are chained, shackled and beaten, just to force them to perform tricks in circuses", said PETA India campaign coordinator Chani Singh.
"PETA India hopes our government will see the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi as the perfect time to make the wise choice to ban the use of elephants in circuses," Singh said.
The group will stage its protest at India Gate in the national capital at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
According to PETA, 24 circuses in the country hold 84 elephants captive.
Citing a recent case of an elephant named Padma at a circus, PETA says no action was taken even though authorities found the animal being treated cruelly.
"Animals in circuses are subjected to chronic confinement, physical abuse and psychological torment. Whips and other tools - including 'ankuses' or heavy steel-tipped rods - are often used to beat elephants and other animals into submission and force them to perform confusing, unnatural tricks like riding bicycles, standing on their heads or jumping through rings of fire," PETA said in a statement.
Objecting to the treatment of animals in circuses, the PETA statement said: "When they're not being forced to perform, dogs are crammed into dirty cages, birds are confined to small cages and have their wings clipped, horses are kept tethered on short ropes and elephants are kept chained."
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