Captive Elephant Rules 2024

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Source-This post on Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024 is based on the article “Centre notifies rules allowing transfer of ‘captive’ elephants” published in “The Hindu” on 19th March 2024.

Why in the News?

Recently, the Centre has notified a set of rules called the Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024.

Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024

Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024
The Hindu

1. Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024 aims to liberalise the conditions under which elephants may be transferred within or between States.

2. Circumstances under which captive elephants can be transferred- The rule highlight certain circumstances under which captive elephant can be transferred:

a) when an owner is no longer in a position to maintain the elephant

b) when the elephant will likely have a better upkeep than in the present circumstances

c) when a State’s Chief Wildlife Warden “deems it fit and proper” in the circumstances of the case for better upkeep of the elephant.

3. Pre-requisite for transfer:

a) Before a transfer within the State, an elephant’s health has to be ratified by a veterinarian.

b) The Deputy Conservator of Forests must establish that the animal’s current habitat and prospective habitat are suitable.

c) The Chief Wildlife Warden (on receipt of such documents) may reject or approve the transfer.

Note: If the transfer involves moving the elephant outside a State, similar conditions apply.

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

e) A mahout and an elephant assistant should accompany the animal, a health certificate, a quarantine period before the transfer and more are also part of the rules.

4. Earlier provision: Until August 2022, the Wildlife Protection Act explicitly prohibited the trade in wildlife including both wild and captive elephants. Amendments to the Act in 2022, brought in an exemption that for the first time allowed captive elephants to be moved.

5. A Parliamentary Committee had recommended the deletion of this exemption clause for elephants. However, the final version of the amended Act retains the clause.

UPSC Syllabus: Environment (legislations) 

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