Cruelty to Jaipur Elephants Used for Tourism
The extensive inspection of elephants in Jaipur conducted by a team including experienced veterinarians and Honorary Animal Welfare Officers from PETA India, Animal Rahat, Wildlife SOS and the Centre for Studies on Elephants at the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Kerala showed rampant and widespread abuse of captive elephants used for elephant rides and other tourist activities in Jaipur, in violation of Indian animal-protection laws.
After learning about the findings, the Animal Welfare Board of India decided not to permit the use of elephants for the annual Elephant Festival, and the event was called off this year.
PETA is now calling on the Rajasthan state government to stop the use of elephants for any purpose, including tourism and ceremonies, and instead to set up an elephant sanctuary with a no-breeding policy under the chain-free protected-contact system of management for rescued elephants. PETA is also calling on the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to look into the legality of Hathigaon, where the elephants are housed, and urges all tourists to stop patronising elephant rides and other uses of captive elephants.
The findings of the inspection included the following issues:
- Injured and unfit elephants, including blind ones, were forced to work
- Iron ankuses, which are prohibited by the Rajasthan High Court’s order, were used.
- Chains or hobbles with spikes or sharp edges were used to restrain the elephants.
- Elephants were continuously tethered or chained by more than one foot.
- Elephants’ ears had been mutilated.
- Elephants had serious foot ailments.
- Stereotypic behaviour, such as constant swaying, head-bobbing, etc – the result of severe frustration – indicated serious mental deterioration.
- Elephants’ tusks and tushes had been cut or had had holes drilled into them without permission from the state wildlife department, which is an apparent violation of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- The rooms for all 51 elephants fell well short of the 1.2 acres of land per elephant required by the CZA’s guidelines.
You can help. Pledge never to patronise elephant rides or other uses of captive elephants.