Campaigners call for urgent government action on the plight of Asian elephants
On 6 August 2018, the campaign group Save The Asian Elephant (STAE) and supporters including Action for Elephants UK delivered a petition to Downing Street, calling on the prime minister to take urgent steps to protect Asian elephants, a highly endangered species, from the suffering and abuse caused by the tourist industry.
The campaigners also delivered a letter to Theresa May, calling for:
- The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to support a new law to ban the advertising or promotion in or from the UK of unethical Asian elephant-related holidays abroad
- Theresa May to honour the government’s 2015 election manifesto pledge to “support the Indian government in its efforts to protect the Asian elephant”
- Ms May and environment secretary Michael Gove to begin talks with India’s leader Narendra Modi to end the beating of baby elephants to “break their spirits” and to restore the proper treatment of captive elephants
- The government to pressure India to release captive elephants to protected forests or genuine sanctuaries and to help establish a model elephant sanctuary, as well as a training centre for mahouts (drivers) and veterinary exchanges between the two countries to raise standards of care
STAE are also calling for the Association of British Travel Agents to press its members to advertise only ethical elephant tourism experiences — namely elephant sanctuaries or wildlife reserves where people can see elephants roaming free, with no trekking, saddles, chains or any other form of unnatural and forced behaviour.
Read Calls for ban on holiday adverts with elephant rides and circuses by Jane Dalton in The Independent for the full story.