KOCHI: The office of the Idukki District Collector has issued an order banning elephant joyrides conducted by nine private firms on Thursday. The order was issued as the firms failed to procure permission from the Animal Welfare Board of India.
As per the Performing Animals Registration Rules 2001, any firm offering joy rides to tourists using captive elephants should register with the Animal Welfare Board of India and produce the registration certificate. However, an inquiry conducted by Idukki ACF in 2018 showed nine elephant safari firms did not possess registration certificates. Based on the report action was recommended action against the errant firms.
According to the report, the firms owned 43 captive elephants and they were charging Rs 400 per person for a 20-minute ride. Based on the report, Idukki Additional District Magistrate conducted a meeting and issued notices to the nine firms on June 18, directing them to produce registration certificates within 15 days. As the firms failed to produce the certificates, the Collector issued an order banning their functioning.
The Collector directed the Assistant Forest Conservator and tahsildar to conduct inspections in elephant safari firms and ensure that they have stopped functioning. The nine firms are Farm Tourism, Valara; Carmalagiri Elephant Camp, Korandikadu; Elephant Camp, Iruttukanam; Elephant Camp, Labbakandam, Kumili; Elephant Junction, Attappallam, Kumili; Tusker Trail, Kumili; Persian Paradise, Chakkupallam, Kumili; Green Field, Adimali; and Munnar Spice, Adimali.The Animal Welfare Board of India had written to all District Collectors in the state on March 3, 2016, requesting to initiate action against all firms using elephants for safari on collection of money without registering with the board.