There are three authorities in the Ministry of Environment
and Forests, Government of India, which deal with
domesticated elephants. The Director of Wildlife
Preservation is the highest legal authority for discharging
the responsibilities of the central government under the
WPA-1972. He is also the Management Authority for
CITES in India. He plays a direct role in regulating the
import and export of domesticated elephants and grants
permission for capturing elephants under Section 12 of the
WPA-1972. The Central Zoological Authority (CZA)
oversees the implementation of standards and norms
relating to the zoo elephants under the provisions of the
Recognition of Zoo Rules, 1992 and also regulates the
transfer of elephants between the recognized zoos. Project
Elephant, the third agency, was established in February
1992 to undertake conservation activities for the long-term
survival of elephants in India. One of the objectives of
Project Elephant is ‘to improve the welfare of elephants in
domestic use, including veterinary care, training of
mahouts, humane treatment of elephants, etc.'. But Project
Elephant has mostly been busy in projects relating to wild
elephants and it has not done much for domesticated
elephants. Presently, it is in the process of gathering
information about the status of domesticated elephants
and their keepers. It also plans to organize a series of
training programmes for mahouts, forest officers and
veterinary doctors. It plans to utilize the services of NGOs
and associations of elephant owners to facilitate
registration of domesticated elephants.

The Ministry of Social Justice, Government of India and the
Animal Welfare Board of India have undertaken many
initiatives to promote the welfare of domesticated animals
and to prevent cruelty to animals. The major focus of their
activities is the circus animals. Various branches of the
Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCAs) in
Kerala have been particularly active in preventing cruelty
to temple elephants.

The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izzatnagar
conducts a diploma course in wildlife health management
for serving veterinary doctors. The Wildlife Institute of India
(WII), Dehradun conducts training courses in wildlife
management for forest officers. The WII has also been
running a collaborative programme with the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service since 1995 known as the Indian Wildlife
Health Co-operative (IWHC). The IWHC consists of five
veterinary colleges, one each in the east, west, north,
south and central regions. Each college deals with wildlife
health issues and training within its region. Two of these
colleges, the College of Veterinary Science, Khanapara,
Guwahati (Assam) and Madras Veterinary College,
Chennai (Tamilnadu) are located in the major elephant
regions in India, though they do not have any special
programme relating to elephants at present. Kerala
Agricultural University, Trichur, organizes workshops and
training programmes related to the management of captive
elephants for veterinarians, elephant keepers and other
interested persons.



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