Shilpa Shetty Stars In Sexy New Anti-Cruelty Ad

Bollywood Beauty Shows Her Stripes in Plea for Animal-Circus Boycott

For Immediate Release:
11 March 2004

Poorva Joshipura 020 7357 9229, ext. 229

Mumbai – Film sensation Shilpa Shetty, the Bollywood superstar of the recent box-office hit Dhadkan, is the latest top celebrity to speak out against cruelty to animals by posing for an ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India. The brand-new ad shows Shilpa dressed in a bodysuit and preparing to leap through a ring of fire, with the tagline ‘Beaten, Lonely and Abused – Boycott the Circus’. Shilpa’s ‘tiger look’ was designed by renowned make-up artist Cory Walia.

Why is Shilpa roaring mad about the circus? Despite the glittering image projected by circus advertising, performing animals’ lives are miserable. It is not only unnatural but also very frightening for animals to be forced to ride bicycles, stand on their heads and jump through rings of fire. If they weren’t constantly menaced and assaulted with whips, electric prods and other tools designed to inflict pain, animals would never perform these stunts. Often, animals in circuses also suffer severely limited access to such basic requirements as water, food and veterinary care.

Tigers and lions are meant to roam free, but in circuses they are confined in steel cages hardly big enough to contain them. Early in their training, according to Henry Ringling North’s book The Circus Kings, big cats are ‘chained to their pedestals, and ropes are put around their necks to choke them down’ Bears may suffer broken noses during training, as well as burned paws if they try to resist standing on their hind legs. The famous elephant, Dumbo, spent 20 years in ‘martingales’ – chains that ran from his tusks to his feet. In their homelands of India and Africa, free-roaming elephants enjoy the same life expectancy as human beings, but in the circus, most elephants die prematurely of disease and stress caused by confinement and lack of natural social contact, among many other abuses.

‘Circuses are no fun for wild animals who are caged, beaten and deprived of all that is natural to them’, says Shilpa. ‘The best advice for children and parents who want to help animals is simply to boycott circuses that use animals.’

As more people become aware of the cruelty involved in forcing animals to perform, circuses that use animals are losing their audiences to animal-free circuses such as Cirque du Soleil and the Imperial Circus of China. Animal acts have already been restricted or banned in Sweden, Finland, Costa Rica and Singapore. PETA encourages governments to ban exotic-animal acts and asks consumers to boycott circuses that use – and abuse – animals.

For more information, please visit For a copy of the image, contact PETA.