The common forum of Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi devaswoms has denied charges of cruelty to elephants during Thrissur Pooram. “Elephants with wounds or swellings were not paraded for the Pooram,” a joint statement of the devaswoms said.
It added that only those elephants with fitness certificates issued by the forest and animal husbandry departments were used for the event.
“Thrissur Pooram is the only festival that adheres to rules and regulations,” the statement said.
“Cracks on nails of elephants are common. If there is no infection, it is not an issue. Experts issue fitness certificates only after checking elephants’ health and obedient nature,” it added.
The devaswoms pointed out that all the elephants that were paraded during the Pooram were fed with palm leaves, watermelon, cucumber, and water. “Wet gunny bags were laid on their way, while pandals and shelters were erected to give them shade. The shelters had also facilities for frequent shower,” they said.
They noted that the government had withdrawn its order restricting parading of elephants between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and after 8 p.m. for Thrissur Pooram, within two days.
They also said that ‘angush’, made of iron and banned by the Rajasthan High Court, was not used in the State. “We use angush made of wood,” the statement added.