Activists pan Assam elephants’ proposed trip to Gujarat

Animal rights activists in Assam and elsewhere in India have decided to petition the Supreme Court against the proposed “torturous train trip” of four juvenile elephants from the State to Gujarat for a religious event in Ahmedabad.

NGOs such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) too have panned the imminent journey of the elephants in railway wagons, reminding that the decision is an apparent violation of the apex court’s 2016 order prohibiting people in possession of elephants from parting with the animals by way of transfer in any manner.

“It appears that the Assam government is under pressure from very powerful people to let the elephants travel more than 3,000 km amid the heat wave in metal wagons they are not likely to survive in. Only the Supreme Court can do something about it, and a group of activists from across the world are getting together in a bid to save the elephants the torture,” Guwahati-based animal rights activist Nandini Baruva said.

“Experts have already warned of the dangers of transporting these elephants over such a huge distance, forcing them to work in heat, and of the risk of these elephants ending up in the illegal wildlife trade. We have long recommended the use of mechanical elephants or other novel and humane approaches instead of real elephants in processions and events,” said Manilal Valliyate, chief executive officer of PETA India.

Jagannath Rath Yatra

Officials in the Assam Forest Department said Chief Wildlife Warden Ranjana Gupta granted permission for the transit on a six-month lease after fixing microchips on the elephants and taking DNA samples. She reportedly ignored the request from two people who came to meet her for taking the elephants for the Jagannath Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad in the first week of July, but later relented.

Ms. Gupta did not answer calls.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 11:24:10 AM |

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