KOCHI: The Forest Department has initiated action against two veterinary surgeons for issuing fitness certificate to an injured elephant, thereby facilitating the owner to parade the animal at temple festivals.
In a letter issued on Thursday, Chief Wildlife Warden Surendra Kumar recommended the Animal Husbandry Department to initiate action against Thrissur Veterinary Surgeon Dr P B Giridas for violation of Captive Elephant Management Rules 2012. He issued a show cause notice to Palakkad Asst Forest Veterinary Officer Dr U C Mithun, seeking to furnish an explanation within 14 days.
The action has been initiated based on an inquiry report submitted by Palakkad Assistant Conservator of Forests (Social Forestry) regarding the allegations of issuing fitness certificates to captive elephant Mangalamkunnu Karnan. The report said both doctors issued health certificates stating the jumbo was fit to be paraded even though it was wounded.
The inquiry officer found Giridas had issued similar false certificates earlier too. He had issued a fitness certificate to captive elephant Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran on February 6, this year. Two days later, the elephant killed two persons when it was bought for a house warming function. “Veterinarians have to issue fitness certificate to captive elephants only after thorough verification of records and examining the animal in detail,” Kumar said in the letter.
In his show cause notice, Kumar said Mithun issued inspection reports on March 21 and April 26 certifying Mangalamkunnu Karnan was fit to be paraded at festivals even with the wounds. These actions are clear violation of the Captive Elephants Management Rules, he said.