Kerala: Insurance now a must for elephant display
KOLLAM: As heated debates and protests over Jallikattu continue, the forest department has made the insurance mandatory for festivals parading jumbos. The new guidelines say organisers should also get permission from the police before the display of elephants in festivals and other programmes. The assistant forest conservator issued the order to take out insurance on festivals for a minimum amount of Rs 25 lakh for 72 hours. More than three elephants should not be permitted to enter the temple premises at a time.
The mahouts should possess data book having details of the elephant, a copy of insurance certificate, and fitness certificate issued by the concerned veterinary doctor before 15 days. The certificate of insurance and details of participating elephant should reach the concerned circle inspector of police when the festival committee requests for permission to use loudspeakers. In processions and lining up of jumbos, there should be a minimum distance maintained between them.
The presence of other animals including horses and camels should be avoided in places where elephants are present. Loud noises including display of plots are to be regulated. It also directed to avoid elephants showing symptoms of musth, diseases, wounds, and tiredness. A district-level monitoring committee constituted should check and certify that sufficient space is provided for each if more than 15 are brought. The application for the same should be submitted to the committee before the programme. A safe distance of three meters should be kept from elephants and the general public and should ensure nobody except the mahout touches them. The elephant will be kept out if the mahout is found to be drunk.