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Regulations will come into effect on May 1
Permit from DFO made mandatory
Thiruvananthapuram: District Collector Dinesh Arora has issued strict curbs on using elephants for processions and parading during festivals.
The regulations were issued after a district-level meeting held here on Wednesday to prevent cruelty to elephants under the Kerala Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules 2003.
Under the regulations, which will come into effect from May 1, organisers of celebrations using elephants will have to seek permission from the District Forest Officer, two weeks in advance. The DFO is required to submit a copy of the permit to the Collector. The DFO will also have to ensure that the elephant to be paraded is free of musth, diseases, injuries and signs of pregnancy.
The permit has to be based on a certificate issued by the Forest Veterinary Officer or the veterinary surgeon of the Elephant Squad. The DFO also has to inspect the mahout's certificate, movement register and other documents.
Mr. Arora assured the meeting that the services of more veterinary doctors would be made available during the festival season. The local Circle Inspector and Sub Inspectors would be empowered to decide the route and time of processions using elephants. They will be required to ensure that the mahouts are not under the influence of liquor. Any violation will have to be reported to the Collector.
Mr. Arora said stern action, including cancellation of licence, would be taken against offenders.
Executive Magistrates and tahsildars will carry out surprise inspections to detect violation of rules and take action. Elephants will have to be give rest for at least 12 hours after participating in a festival or procession.
The public have been directed to contact the control room at the Collectorate to pass on any information of cruelty to elephants.
DFO Pukazhendy, DCP Rajpal Meena, Armed Police Commandant Unnikrishnan, Devaswom administrator, officials from the Fire and Rescue Services and Animal Husbandry Department, and tahsildars participated in the meeting.
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