The Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change [MoEFCC] has passed orders this week that ban the training and exhibition of wild animals in circuses countrywide.
Following year-long inspections by officials, which brought to light extreme cruelty to animals, the new order is an attempt to keep a check on animal abuse.
The orders now also ban the use of elephants in circuses – who were excluded from previous legislations.
According to experts, circus animals are often beaten by trainers, and they suffer from loneliness, boredom, and frustration.
The investigations, which were carried out by government agency Central Zoo Authority [CZA], prompted the orders.
“The probe showed that animals were being maintained in circuses in cruel conditions and were tortured to extract performances,” CZA member DN Singh told local media outlet India Today.
“Some of the owners of circuses even submitted morphed photographs to us in a bid to claim that animals were kept well.”
The ban in India follows New York governor Andrew Cuomo decision this month to also prohibit the use of elephants statewide.