Sri Lanka Takes Legal Measures to Protect Elephants
Sri Lanka issues a series of legal measures aimed at protecting domestic elephants from abuse, with serious violations being punished with up to 3 years in prison.
Due to increased complaints about the mistreatment and cruelty that domestic elephants are being subjected to, Sri Lanka has announced numerous legal measures to protect the animals, including banning those who drink alcohol from riding them.
Among the new measures are a mandatory daily bath for at least two and a half hours, and two veterinary medical visits per year.
Additionally, elephants used for heavy work can only be used to operate 4 hours a day, while those designated for transporting tourists can only carry a maximum of 4 people, provided they are equipped with a well-padded saddle.
New measures also prohibit the employment of newly born elephants, even if only in traditional shows, and separating newborns from their mothers is now prohibited.
In addition, elephants are only allowed to participate in films shot for the government under strict veterinary supervision, whereas elephant riders are forbidden from drinking alcohol or using drugs while working with the animal.
These new rules are accompanied by hefty penalties, including confiscation of the elephant and imprisonment for up to 3 years in case of a serious violation.
It is noteworthy that Sri Lanka has about 200 domesticated elephants and approximately 7,500 in the wild. In India, it is forbidden to hunt wild elephants, but prosecutions for violators are rare.
Animal rights activists note that more than 40 baby elephants have been stolen from national reserves in the last 15 years for the purpose of domesticating them.