Save India's Begging Elephants
Mrs. Jayanthi Natarajan
Hon'ble Minister for Environment and Forests, Government of India.
We wishto bring to your kind attention that while India has some of the best laws in place for the protection of Wildlife and Forests, including the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1968, unfortunately the plight of the elephant in captivity appears not to be adequately addressed by both.
So long as elephants can be bought and sold with little regulation in the country and minimal enforcement, and calves continue to find their way into the trade, theexploitative use of elephants for begging cannot be stopped.
Although there is a ban on trade or sale, this goes on indiscriminately under the guise of lease, gifting etc.
We strongly urge that first and foremost the use of privately owned elephants for circus, begging, for tourist joyrides and for entertainment be banned completely and the ban enforced strictly by the enforcement agencies. That will go a long way in controlling the acquisition of elephants and the fact that they are grossly abused, exploited and their welfare compromised severely in every possible way. Their health, feed, management and training is severely compromised and the number of elephants in captivity needs to go down.
We humbly ask you as the Minister for Environment and Forests to be sympathetic to the persecuted captive elephants and enforce a ban on begging elephants across India.
Your ministry with great foresight has already established an Elephant Rescue & Rehabilitation Center through Project Elephant; in collaboration with the Government of Haryana and the NGO Wildlife SOS. This center is functional and equipped to care for these unfortunate elephants.
We request that you help facilitate the rescue and transfer of these elephants and others like them to this rescue and rehabilitation center at the earliest and continue to provide funds through Project Elephant for their feeding, care and upkeep. As this responsibility has already been accepted by Project Elephant and Wildlife SOS.
Thank you for your kind attention!
Concerned Citizens of the world.