Madras high court allows mercy killing of ailing Salem temple elephant | india news | Hindustan Times
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Madras high court allows mercy killing of ailing Salem temple elephant

The petitioner informed the court that the pachyderm was suffering for a long time due to serious painful disease condition of her left foreleg, which cannot be medically or surgically treated or cured.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2018 23:14 IST
A wild adult male elephant inside Bhooteachang tea estate. (Photos: Ankush Saikia)
A wild adult male elephant inside Bhooteachang tea estate. (Photos: Ankush Saikia)(File photo for representation )

The Madras high court on Monday granted permission for the “mercy killing” of an ailing elephant in Salem temple, provided the veterinarians certify that the animal could not be cured and that letting her live would only add to the suffering.

Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose accepted the plea of S Muralidharan, an animal lover and founder of Indian Centre for Animal Rights and Education.

The petitioner had moved the high court for its direction to the veterinarians treating upon Rajeswari, the elephant belonging to the Arulmigu Suguvaneswarar temple, to euthanise her.

The petitioner submitted that Rajeswari has developed bed sores due to constant lying down for over a month due to serious complications in of one of her feet.

Muralidharan informed the court that the pachyderm was suffering for a long time due to serious painful disease condition of her left foreleg, which cannot be medically or surgically treated or cured. He also alleged that the doctors who treated upon her “only made her condition worse”.

Muralidharan contended that the elephant suffered from stiffness and had great difficulty in moving, and keeping her alive in such circumstances would be a violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

The court gave the direction after going through the circular of the Animal Welfare Board chairman, Major General (Retd) Dr RM Kharb, on euthanasia of animals and standards formulated by the Animal Welfare Board of India in this regard.

“It seems euthanasia should be performed so that the elephant is relieved from prolonged agony and suffering,” it said. The decision to perform euthanasia is ultimately to be taken by the veterinary officer in charge of the area based on the guidelines, it said.