Animals in Entertainment

1. What are some of the forms of entertainment that use ‘animals’?

Various forms of entertainment that use animals are:

• Zoos – Zoos are places wherein animals are confined to small spaces in barren cages, permanently on show to the viewing public. Their enclosures bear little resemblance to their natural habitats.
• Circuses- Circuses house and confine animals in small cages, sometimes for long intervals of time. The animals are also sometimes chained and caged. The animals are restricted from their natural environment. Also, ‘because the circus travels to different places to perform, this means repeated transport in confinement for these animals
• Dog fighting and cock fighting- Dog fighting and cockfighting are very common in the West. They are a type of blood sports. Dog fights are generally defined as pitting two game dogs against one another in a ring or a pit for providing entertainment to the spectators, whereas, A cockfight is a blood sport between two cocks, held in a ring called a cockpit
• Racing- Animal racing is the most popular form of sports. While, some racing events directly involve humans as riders, others see the animals’ race alone. In some sports the rider is not directly riding the animal, instead being pulled along. Harness racing, dogsled racing and chariot racing are popular examples of such sport. Two of the most common animals in sport are horses and dogs

2. I’ve heard of live baits being used to capture another animal, what can be to resolve this issue?

Using live baits to capture another animal is illegal. One must get the police involved to take direct action against the violation of this law.

3. How common are dogfights and cockfights?

Dogfights usually last until one dog is declared a winner, which occurs when one dog fails to scratch, one dog dies, or one dog jumps out of the pit. The loser, if not killed in the fight, is typically killed by the owner through a gun, beatings, or torture. Dog fighting is not common, but can be found in some rural areas, especially near Punjab, and is illegal by the Indian law.
A cockfight is a blood sport between two cocks, held in a ring called a cockpit. The cocks are referred to as gamecocks, are specially bred birds, conditioned for increased stamina and strength. Cockfighting is a popular sport amongst people living in the coastal region of Andhra Pradesh, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts of Tulu Nadu region of Karnataka, and the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The cockfight is an intense sport, recreation, or pastime to some, while to others, the cockfight remains an ancient religious ritual, a sacred ceremony. It is legal in religious ceremonies but considered illegal if performed as a pastime activity .

4. What is animal racing?

Animal Racing is the most popular form of sport. While, some racing events directly involve humans as riders, others see the animals’ race alone. In some sports the rider is not directly riding the animal, instead being pulled along. Harness racing, dogsled racing and chariot racing are popular examples of such sport. Two of the most common animals in sport are horses and dogs. While there are petitions to ban it, dog racing is still not illegal in the country. As for horse racing, it is a very popular sport and the horse racing industry is strictly regulated. However, this sport too is not illegal.

5. Don’t zoos and circuses serve as a means to conserve species?

Zoos often claim that they can preserve species whose habitat has been destroyed. They suggest that they can maintain the species in captivity and then successfully reintroduce the animals to the wild, resulting in a healthy, self-sustaining population.

While there are many problems with this idea, some are mentioned below. First, some species such as marine mammals, bird species and more are extremely difficult to breed in captivity.
There are also difficulties with the process of reintroduction. Problems such as human imprinting, the need to teach animals to fly, hunt, build dens, and raise their young are serious obstacles, and must be solved individually for each species.
One can easily contrast this with the efficiency of large habitat preserves, which can maintain viable populations of whole complexes of species with minimal human intervention. Choosing zoos as a means for species preservation, is both expensive and of dubious.
Furthermore, ethically speaking keeping animals in zoos harms them by denying them freedom of movement and association, which is important to social animals, and frustrates many of their natural behavioral patterns, leaving them at least bored, and at worst seriously neurotic.

6. How can people see and learn about wild animals if not for zoos?

To truly learn about animals, one must observe them in their natural habitats. The conditions under which animals are kept in zoos distorts their behaviour significantly. Thus, one cannot truly learn about animals in such locales.
There are several practical alternatives to zoos for educational purposes. Nature documentaries shown regularly on television and videos online can go a long way in helping learn about animals. Many TV shows on The Discovery Channel, provide accurate information on animals in their natural habitats and magazines such as National Geographic also provide well researched and illustrated articles.