For Immediate Release:
19 April 2021
Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
Celebrities Take to Social Media to #UnchainElephants
Mumbai – Social media was set ablaze when celebrities such as Sidharth Malhotra, Vijender Singh, Harshvardhan Rane, Bani J, and Ashmit Patel recently tweeted in favour of unchaining elephants. Vijender, Harshvardhan, and Patel tagged the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in their social media posts urging the authorities to stop elephant rides and performances, including for circuses.
Actor Sidharth Malhotra tweeted, “Elephants don’t deserve this! Free them from the shackles and let them thrive. @PetaIndia @Sachbang #UnchainElephants.”
“Dear @Dept_of_AHD and @moefcc, please include elephants in the species banned from being used in performances. They don’t want to be chained or hit. #UnchainElephants @PetaIndia,” posted boxing champion Vijender Singh.
“It’s unjustifiable that our National Heritage Animal isn’t provided with the same protection as other wild species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972,” says PETA India Director of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera. “Bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions, and other animals are already protected from being used in performances under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It’s high time the authorities added elephants to that list.”
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way” – has conducted multiple investigations which have documented that elephants used for performances throughout India are commonly denied adequate food, water, and veterinary care. Many suffer from visual impairment, injuries from ankuses, or painful foot conditions. It’s no wonder that many of these animals retaliate, becoming a threat to humans around them. According to figures compiled by the Heritage Animal Task Force, captive elephants killed 526 people in Kerala within a 15-year span. Many captive elephants also suffer from tuberculosis, which can spread to humans.
Young elephants are traumatically taken away from their homes and families to be emotionally broken and used for circuses, rides, and other spectacles. When not in use, they spend their life in chains, unable to take a step in any direction. They live in terror of being jabbed with ankuses – rods with a sharp metal hook on the end.