Thrissur: The Central Government is gearing up to bring captive elephants under the list of domesticated animals through an amendment to Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The state BJP unit is also forcing the central government to consider the matter.
Currently, captive elephants used in temple procession and festivals fall under schedule 1 of the 1972 act. The move comes in the wake of several pleas filed by people citing decrease in captive elephant population in Kerala.
Captive elephants come under the purview of the 1972 act through an amendment made in 2002. Based on this, the capture and sale of elephants are banned in India.
Additionally, several temples in the state use elephants for their daily ritual practices. However, death and lack of availability of elephants have barred temples from following centuries-old rituals. Further, the organisers of Thrissur Pooram have also approached the government stating that the lack of availability of elephants will affect the festival in future.
Further, MoS V Muraleedharan and Suresh Gopi MP have approached Central Forest Minister Boopendra Yadhav requesting intervention on the matter.