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Cricketer Rohit Sharma 'Scarred' In New PETA India Ad, Hits Out At Animal Circuses

For Immediate Release:

6 March 2014

Contact:

Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; BenW@peta.org.uk 

Indian Sporting Icon Urges Fans to 'Try to Relate to Elephants' Fate'

London – Peering into the camera with fierce determination, his face appearing scarred by an iron hook (ankus), cricketer Rohit Sharma is featured in a striking new ad from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India that reads, "Try to Relate to Elephants' Fate – Ban Animal Circuses". The ad was shot by leading photographer Gaurav Sawn, and Sharma's hair styling and make-up were done by Neha Kamra.

Sharma also sat down for an exclusive video interview, which can be viewed here. The broadcast-quality version can be downloaded here.

"Animals deserve respect, not to be imprisoned in small enclosures and forced to perform degrading and meaningless tricks out of fear of punishment", Sharma says. "We cricketers love our sport, and we willingly participate. But animals in circuses are beaten into performing against their will."

Elephants and other animals in circuses are subjected to chronic confinement, physical abuse and psychological torment. Whips and other weapons – including ankuses, which are heavy, sharp steel-tipped rods – are often used to inflict pain on elephants and beat them into submission. Following a nine-month investigation of circuses by a team that included representatives from PETA India and its sister organisation Animal Rahat, the Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body operating under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, decided to stop the registration of elephants used to perform in circuses. However, this decision has yet to be implemented.

Sharma is a batsman for India's national cricket team as well as the captain of the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. Shortly after embarking on his international career at the age of 20, Sharma quickly became a highly regarded permanent fixture on the cricket scene. In 2013, he started playing as an opening batsman for the Indian One-Day International (ODI) team and is the second-leading scorer in ODI innings.

For more information on animals in circuses, please visit PETA.org.uk.

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