Captive elephant transfer rules leave wide gaps for misuse: Jairam Ramesh

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday wrote to Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, expressing concern that the Captive Elephant (Transport or Transfer) Rules 2024 notified in March do not effectively prevent the wild capture and commercial trade of elephants.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh

New Delhi | Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday wrote to Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, expressing concern that the Captive Elephant (Transport or Transfer) Rules 2024 notified in March do not effectively prevent the wild capture and commercial trade of elephants.

In his letter, Ramesh said the Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2022, allowed the non-commercial transfer of elephants for "any other purpose" but failed to clarify what this phrase means, leaving room for misuse.

"This is no way to treat India's national heritage animal, declared thus in 2010," Ramesh wrote on X and urged Yadav to reconsider the Rules in light of these concerns and those raised by various animal welfare organisations.

Ramesh reminded Yadav that during his speech on the Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2022, he had objected to the non-commercial transfer of elephants "for any other purpose".

He said this was contrary to the recommendation of the Standing Committee that examined the Bill in detail and that he had only supported the exception for "religious" purposes.

"You had assured the House that 'any other purpose' would be clarified in the Rules. Unfortunately, the Rules still do not clarify what 'any other purpose' means. This leaves wide gaps for misuse," Ramesh wrote.

The Congress leader pointed out that the current Rules do not effectively close the routes for both wild capture and commercial trade of captive elephants, especially from the Northeast to other parts of India.

He cited recent examples of commercial transactions involving elephants from Arunachal Pradesh to Kerala, Odisha, and Gujarat, and serious attempts to transfer wild-caught elephants to these states under the guise of being captive or as donations.

Ramesh said these issues are documented and well known to the officials.

Latest News

No stories found.

Related Stories

No stories found.