India’s ministry of environment, forests, and climate change (MoEFCC) passed orders this week to ban the use of all animals in circuses countrywide. MoEFCC added elephants as protected animals under the country’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, adding to legislation enacted in 1998 that barred the use of bears, monkeys, panthers, lions, and tigers for entertainment purposes. The ban comes after a series of investigations carried out by government agency Central Zoo Authority (CZA) that exposed rampant cruelty in the industry. “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.” Stateside, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this month to ban the use of elephants in circus performances statewide.