CHENNAI: Thirteen national and regional animal protection organizations have urged Rajya Sabha MPs ahead of the winter session to ask the parliament to re-examine the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill 2022 (WLPA) which allows the transfer of ownership of elephants for religious and any other purpose.
A joint representation of the orgaanisations pointed out that the amendment is largely designed in line with the spirit of the WLPA to end illegal trade in wild animals. But it includes a provision that will have the opposite effect. That proviso is the proposed amendment to section 43 to create an exception for the transfer of ownership of privately held elephants, for religious or any other purpose.
"Transfer of a captive elephant is usually done through donation or gifting, which have, in most cases, been euphemisms for commercial sale. Hence allowing transfer under section 43 (2) is tantamount to a wildlife crime and goes against the larger purpose of the amendment and the law itself. Rather than further encouraging the trade in elephants, the new amendment must continue the government’s current policy of phasing out private captivity and commercial use of elephants, " the representation added.
The representation has been made by the Centre for Research on Animal Rights (CRAR), Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC), Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), Cape Foundation, Elsa Foundation, Youth for Animals, People for Animals Goa, Peta India, Walking Eye Foundation for Animal Advocacy, World Animal Protection, Heritage Animal Task Force, Sage Foundation, and Kaziranga Wildlife Society.
The joint representation has been issued to all Members of Rajya Sabha including N Chandrasegharan, R Dharmar, C Ve Shanmugam, M Thambidurai, M Mohamed Abdulla, NR Elango, R Girirajan, S Kalyanasundaram, KRN Rajeshkumar, Anthiyur P Selvarasu, M Shanmugam, Tiruchi Siva, Kanimozhi, NVN Somu, P Wilson, P Chidambaram, Vaiko, Anbumani Ramadoss and GK Vasan.