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Tourism ministry considers ban on elephant rides after meeting with PETA

Junior tourism minister KJ Alphons receives a petition from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

environment Updated: Dec 08, 2017 22:20 IST
Malavika Vyawahare
Malavika Vyawahare
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Tourism ministry,Elephant ride,KJ Alphons
There are about 3,000-4,000 captive elephants in India.(Shutterstock/ Representative photo)

The tourism ministry is considering a proposal to ban elephant rides for tourism purposes. “I received a representation today and we will examine it,” KJ Alphons, junior minister for tourism, told HT on Friday.

A group from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) met the minister on Friday and showed him a video circulating on the internet that captured the beating of an elephant. Alphons acknowledged being deeply affected by the footage.

“Representing tourists from all over the world, who would rather take home photographs of elephants living in nature than memories of a trip ruined by the sight of broken beasts,” PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk who met the minister, said. “It was heartening to hear the minister express his compassion and pledge to help.” The minister is considering issuing advisories to states to stop the practice for tourism purposes.

There are about 3,000-4,000 captive elephants in India. The country hosts one of the largest populations of wild elephants, numbering around 27,000.

World Animal Protection, an NGO, examined the conditions of about 3,000 animals at tourist centres in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Laos and Cambodia and found that a majority of them were treated “appallingly.”

However , the notification for banning the use of elephants for a wide variety of purposes like entertainment and safaris will have to come from the environment ministry.

First Published: Dec 08, 2017 22:20 IST