A Jaipur court has directed the police department to investigate into cruelty against elephants used for providing joy rides at the Amber Fort and submit a report before it.
The court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate has also directed the police to register an FIR against accused involved in animal abuse and cruelty, as per the order copy.
Petitioner Gauri Maulekhi, the trustee of People for Animals, had moved the court seeking relief to the animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, stating that nearly 103 elephants at the Amber Fort are being ill-treated and forced to carry load more than the prescribed limits and are suffering from several health problems.
Citing a recent Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) report, a petition was filed.
Hearing the petition on Thursday and looking into the AWBI report, the court ordered to get the matter investigated by the police and file an FIR against accused involved in animal cruelty, the petitioner said.
As per the examination conducted by the AWBI during December 2017 to March 2018 at Hathi Gaon, 19 captive elephants of the 102 elephants were observed to be blind, either unilaterally or bilaterally, rendering them unfit for any work. Ten elephants were found to be suffering from tuberculosis and 28 were found to be above 50 years of age. Moreover, the elephants were found to be under severe psychological distress. The tusks of 47 elephants appeared to have been cut. The elephants were seen carrying loads heavier than 200 kg, the report said.
On the other hand, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), through its counsel, has sent a legal notice to Rajasthan's Department of Archaeology and Museums and a copy of it to the forest department, asking them to stop elephant riders within three days of receiving the notice.
As per the copy of the legal notice, the animal welfare organization has sent the notice stating that since the department requires a health certificate from the zoo and no objection certificate from the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) before granting permission for rides, the CWLW should determine whether the elephant rides should be permitted.