New video footage of a chained elephant who will be used for the annual Dasara festival in Mysuru after two months of relentless training that wears out the animals’ feet has sent a chill down the world’s spine. The video shows the captive elephant swaying uncontrollably from side to side , which is a proven sign of severe psychological distress .
During a Dasara festival procession, 12 elephants are forced to walk over 5 kilometres with heavy weights on their backs , but the training begins up to two months earlier. After it’s complete, mahouts often force elephants to walk the 90 kilometres from Nagarahole National Park to Mysuru.
The barbaric acts of violence towards elephants at the Dasara festival violate Section 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, our nation’s chief animal-protection legislation . It’s also illegal to exploit elephants at the festival, because no one registers them with the Animal Welfare Board of India, which is a legal requirement under the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 . Additionally, our central government has declared that elephants are a national heritage animal, and the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, prohibits capturing them, but humans are still stealing these animals from their families in nature, beating them into submission, and forcing them to perform for or carry us.
Similarly, elephants beaten and chained in circuses and those forced to give rides under the threat of a weapon can often be found swaying repetitively.
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