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June 1, 2018

Amer court directs police to investigate cruelty on elephants at Amer Fort

Humane Society International/India

  • Don't participate in elephant rides. Ian Bottle/istock

Rajasthan—The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Amer has directed the police department to begin an investigation into cruelty carried out against the elephants used as a tourist attraction at Amer Fort. This court order came after a complaint filed by Smt. Gauri Maulekhi, Trustee, People for Animals, and Government Liaison for Humane Society International/India.

The complaint filed at the Amer Court by Smt Maulekhi asks to provide relief to the elephants under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The approximately 103 elephants at Amer Fort carry tourists up and down a steep slope at Amer Fort. They are housed in Haathi Gaon, a concrete housing structure around 4 kilometres away.

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The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has conducted multiple investigations in the past disclosing the conditions under which these elephants labor. They suffer from the blows of the ankush or bullhook, which is prohibited, and from beating, kicking, tethering, and insufficient diet and inadequate medical care. If the investigation finds the complaint made by the complainant valid, the police will be required to file a first information report and submit the investigation report to the court.

Gauri Maulekhi said; “We are happy with the order of the court. We are confident that our concerns will be proven in the police department’s investigation. This is a landmark order and we believe it is the beginning of the end of the torture that these elephants have suffered for so long.”

A recent report by the AWBI showed that many of these elephants used for foreign tourists suffer from tuberculosis (TB). In addition, most of the 103 elephants have open wounds, scars, are chained when not working and display stereotypical behaviour that entails repetitive movements for long durations of time like swaying side to side or back and forth due to suffering from lack of natural mental stimulation. The foreign tourists who frequent the elephant rides are often unaware of the cruelty behind them. Take action and donate to help.

Media Contact: Vidhi Malla: vmalla@hsi.org, +919560103078

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