Thrissur: Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is mulling new guidelines on management and maintenance of captive elephants. Modifications, including permanent shelter homes for elephants and a standing committee for inspection of shelter homes, are under consideration. Elephant welfare committees and rehabilitation centres will be constructed in every districts.
With the implementation of this system, the practice of chaining the elephants on open compounds will be ended. Also, the lack of space in the present elephant shelters will be a challenge. The elephant lovers opine that the new rule will affect the elephant protection centres under government.
Some recommendations in the guidelines:
- 0.2 hectare (49.91 cent) space should be reserved for each elephant.
- In a centre where 50 elephants are accommodated, 5 employees, including a veterinary doctor, should be appointed.
- The shelter homes are better to be located near forest regions close to water bodies.
- A minimum of 5 elephants should be accommodated in a centre.
- A separate shed for the elephants and adequate walking space should be available.
- Essential medicines should be stocked.
- Elephants should be taken to the forests nearby regularly.
- Solar fencing or trenches can be made to prevent elephants from going out.
- No tools to hurt elephants should be used.
7 registers to be maintained:
- Vaccination register
- Treatment and food related documents
- Details of the places where the elephants are taken
- Ivory register
- Elephant data book
- Work register