PETA calls for bill of rights for Sri Lanka elephants
Friday August 16, 2019 17:25
ECONOMYNEXT- The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called on Sri Lanka to introduce a bill of rights for elephants, after the elderly jumbo Tikiri was paraded in a cultural festival, following which she collapsed.
"It’s time for Sri Lanka to introduce a Bill of Rights for elephants – one which frees them from chains, spares them bullhooks and beatings, prohibits them from being taken from the wild, and fosters a world in which they’re no longer forced to entertain humans," Senior Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker said in a statement.
"Currently, in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, elephants are seen by their handlers as little more than moneymaking tools," he said.
"They’re forced to give rides to tourists as though they’re Ferris wheels or go-karts and treated with no respect for their health or well-being."
PETA said that the organization has offered to pay for Tikiri to be transferred to a reputable elephant sanctuary where she can be treated by veterinarians and live out her remaining years in peace.
"But Tikiri is just one elephant," Baker said.
"Many more elephants in Sri Lanka are suffering similar or worse treatment in service to an exploitative and abusive tourism industry," he said.
"What these animals need is for the Sri Lankan government to get with the times and establish protection laws that reflect our modern understanding of their sentience, their needs, and their desires."
Tikiri had been parading at the 10-day Esala Perahera festival in Kandy, garbed in a decorated costume and covered in lights.
After the condition of the elephant was uncovered by animal rights activists, Tikiri was withdrawn from the festivities on the final day.
Our sister side RepublicNext reported that Tikiri is back with her owner, but in critical condition.
The 70-year old skeletal elephant is suffering from an eating disorder.
Sri Lanka’s Tourism Development and Wildlife Minister John Amaratunga called for action against persons responsible for subjecting Tikiri to the rigours of the cultural pageant.
He had said that the recommendations of an expert committee to ensure the health and wellbeing of captive elephants will be reinstated. (Colombo/Aug16/2019)