CAPTIVE ELEPHANT RULES, 2024 (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     26th March 2024        

Context: The Centre has notified a set of rules called the Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024 that liberalises the conditions under which elephants may be transferred within or between States.

Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024

  • Aim: To ease the regulations for transferring elephants within or between states.
  • Conditions for Captive Elephant Transfer:

oOwner's Inability to Maintain Elephant: Transfer permitted if the owner is unable to adequately care for the elephant.

oLikelihood of Better Upkeep: Transfer allowed if it is expected to result in better maintenance of the elephant.

oApproval by Chief Wildlife Warden: Chief Wildlife Warden may approve transfer if deemed fit and proper for the elephant's better upkeep.

  • Transfer Procedure Within the StateVeterinarian must ratify the elephant's health before transfer.

oHabitat Suitability: Deputy Conservator of Forests ensures suitability of current and prospective habitats.

oApproval Process: Chief Wildlife Warden decides on transfer approval based on provided documents.

  • Inter-State Transfer Requirements:

oSimilar conditions apply: If the transfer involves moving the elephant outside of a state, similar conditions apply. 

oGenetic profile: Before a transfer is effected, the “genetic profile” of the elephant has to be registered with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

  • Elephant Exemption: Accompanied by Mahout and Assistant, Health Certificate, Mandatory Quarantine Period, Proper Feeding and Watering,  Provision during Transport, Use of Tranquilizers/Sedatives.
  • Amendments to Wildlife Protection Act:

oProhibited wildlife trade: Until August 2022, Wildlife Protection Act prohibited wildlife trade, including captive elephants.

oExemption:  Amendments introduced an exemption allowing transfer of captive elephants.

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