Inter-State Transportation of Captive Elephants

Inter-State Transportation of Captive Elephants mind map
Recent News:
Gazette notification issued:
Date: Thursday before 16 Mar 2024
Allows inter-state transportation
Supreme Court expands High-Powered Committee's scope:
Date: Friday following the Gazette notification
Scope: Across India
For: Advancement of elephant welfare
Address shortage for festivals:
Example: Thrissur Pooram needs close to 100 elephants
Welfare and rehabilitation:
Across India
Gazette notification:
Fitness examination required:
By veterinary expert
Application process:
Submit to Chief Wildlife Warden
Within seven days to deputy conservator of forest
Transfer conditions:
Owner's inability to maintain
Better upkeep available
Chief Wildlife Warden's approval
Elephant must be accompanied:
By mahout and assistant
With fitness and health certificates
Supreme Court ruling:
High-Powered Committee:
Jurisdiction: PAN India
For wild animals' welfare
Notable impact: Thrissur, Kerala
Committee's jurisdiction: Across India
Paramekkavu Devaswom:
Role: Festival organizer, amendment initiator
Supreme Court of India:
Empowered High-Powered Committee
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC):
Issued the Gazette notification
Gazette notification details:
Examination and certification process
Application and approval process
Accompaniment and health requirements
Quarantine protocol
Supreme Court decision:
Extended High-Powered Committee's scope
Addresses elephant shortage for festivals
Aims at better welfare and upkeep
Streamlines transportation process
Potential for misuse:
Concerns over trade disguise
Contrary to Elephant Task Force 2010 recommendations
Way Forward:
Monitoring and regulation:
To prevent misuse
Ensure welfare standards

The central government recently issued a Gazette notification that allows the inter-state transportation of captive elephants, a move that came ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and was welcomed by festival organizers in Kerala, notably for the Thrissur Pooram festival which requires close to 100 elephants. The Supreme Court has also expanded the scope of a High-Powered Committee, giving it jurisdiction across India to enhance the welfare, care, and rehabilitation of elephants and other wild animals. This committee is empowered to conduct necessary checks and recommend actions for the welfare of these animals across the country. The regulations require a fitness examination of the elephants before transportation, submission of an application by the owner to the Chief Wildlife Warden, and quarantine of the elephants post-transportation. While these moves have been welcomed for addressing the shortage of elephants for cultural festivals and their welfare, there have been criticisms and concerns over potential misuse for trade under the guise of transfer​​​​​​​​.

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