A division bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha sought the report while disposing of a plea moved by the People for Cattle in India (PFCI) seeking medical treatment to a makhna elephant that sustained injuries in its mouth after it bit into an explosive-laden fruit kept by the farmers to kill wild boars in Kerala.
Noting that though the elephant had died, the organisation questioned the practices adopted in chasing the injured animal away by bursting firecrackers instead of providing it necessary treatment. The petitioner’s counsel contended that the elephant could have been tranquilised using darts and provided treatment when then there was no scope for it to eat the medicine along with the food. But instead, the Forest Department chose to chase it back to Kerala, the counsel said.
But the counsel appearing for the State Forest Department contended that the petitioner, unaware of the ground realities, has initiated adversarial litigation instead of appreciating the efforts taken to protect the elephant and lead it to safety, especially with it having turned wild.
Though it noted that the issue of using explosive-laden food to chase away animals ought to be raised at the Kerala High Court, the bench wondered whether the treatment provided to such injured animals was on a par with international standards, especially with the vast developments in veterinary science. Thus, even as it disposed of the plea, the court sought for the status report about the treatment standards available here by January 25, 2021.