Supreme Court notice to Kerala to restrict elephant parades

Restriction after plea filed by Animal Welfare Board of India

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre and Kerala on an application to restrain Kerala from parading the elephants during temple festivals in the State.

A bench of justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C. Pant had already issued notice returnable in eight weeks to the States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil nadu, Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra on a PIL filed by Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. On Tuesday fresh notice was issued on the application filed by Gauri Maulekhai, member of Animal Welfare board of India.

In her application she said all over Kerala during the festival season commencing in November to May each year, thounds of festivals take place in temples, churches and mosques.

In most of these festivals elephants are used to perform various activities and are exhibited throughout the day and night without giving them necessary food and water and without adequate rest.

She said In particular the Thrissur Pooram festival was an event in connection with eleven temples in Thrissur and lakhs of people participate in various ceremonies. In every part of the festival elephants are paraded and exhibited without any protective measure. Use of high density fireworks is a speciality in Pooram festival.

Pointing out that exhibition and parading of elephants would amount to violation of the rules and an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, she sought a restraint order from using elephants.

The Bench The Bench had already sought the reply of nine States including Keral on the various aspects, viz the estimated number of captive elephants within the state.

( Source : dc )
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