2. Although periodic capturing of elephants has been
recognized as a management option for containing
depredation and population control, this option is seldom
exercised because of the very limited scope to dispose of
elephants under the WPA-1972 and the export policy. The
WPA-1972 is laden with too many restrictions to
encourage elephant keeping in India. There is no evidence
that trade in live elephants is in any way responsible for
endangering Asian elephants, yet being in Schedule-I of
the WPA-1972 and Appendix I of the CITES, they are
precluded from trade.
3. The domesticated elephant was excluded from the
definition of livestock through an amendment in the
WPA-1972 in 1991. This has theoretically placed it outside
the purview of the Livestock Department. Moreover,
domesticated elephants are precluded from the legal
requirement of the prophylactic inoculation of livestock
around Protected Areas.
4. As the elephant is included in Schedule-I, offences
associated with this animal attract maximum punishment
under the WPA-1972. A person can get the same
punishment for possessing an elephant without permission
of the CWLW as for poaching a tusker. Even minor
offences relating to elephants are not compoundable.
Thus, for a large number of persons who have unwittingly
violated some provision of the Act concerning captive
elephants, there is no other option but to keep quiet about
the violation and perhaps continue with it.
5. Domesticated elephants are used for different types of
work in India. Many of these elephants are subjected to a
variety of acts of cruelty (Barua & Bist, 1996). The
WPA-1972 or the rules framed under it do not provide for
the care and maintenance of captive elephants other than
those in the custody of the zoos recognized by the CZA.
The provisions of the PCA-1960 are generally not
appropriate for elephants. It is necessary to frame
exclusive standards and norms for elephant owners and
enforce the same through the WPA-1972 (Bist, 1996).
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