District Magistrate Cancels Elephant Polo Match

For Immediate Release:

20 August 2011


Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

Dr Manilal Valliyate; [email protected]

Immediately After Carlsberg Pulls Sponsorship, Pressure by PETA and Other Groups Leads to Halt of Cruel Event

Jaipur, Rajasthan – Right after beer giant Carlsburg withdrew its sponsorship from the much-criticised elephant Polo Cup, District Magistrate Naveen Mahajan of Jaipur has announced that the match will not take place on 21 August as previously scheduled. Mr Mahajan’s announcement comes following appeals by PETA as well as notification from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) that the cup organisers had not only failed to register the elephants to be used with AWBI, as required under the Performing Animal (Registration) Rules, but also had not submitted valid elephant ownership certificates.

“Every year, more people realise that elephant polo is nothing but an exhibition of cruelty to animals – from their removal from nature through their training and life of privation and servitude”, says PETA India Chief Functionary Poorva Joshipura. “The District Magistrate’s announcement is a victory for the elephants, who would otherwise have been forced to perform in this abusive event.”

Although it is illegal to beat and torture animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, captive elephants like those used in elephant polo are routinely trained and disciplined with the use of ankuses (heavy rods that resemble fireplace pokers, with a sharp steel hook on the end, that are dug into the skin); deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them, including family life; and cruelly kept shackled in chains when they’re not performing.

PETA India’s and AWBI’s letters to Mr Naveen Mahajan, District Magistrate of Jaipur, are available upon request.

For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.