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Dhaka Tribune

High Court issues rule to stop torture on elephants

  • Petition filed by Jaya Ahsan, PAW Foundation
  • It highlighted the inhumane treatment of captive elephants in Bangladesh
Update : 25 Feb 2024, 03:54 PM

The High Court has issued a rule asking why steps should not be taken to stop cruelty to elephants in the name of training. 

The court also stayed the issuance of new licenses and renewal of old licenses for rearing wild animals and elephants in the interim period, and asked why it should not be declared illegal.

A High Court bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Kazi Zinat Hoque issued the rule after hearing a writ petition filed by actor Jaya Ahsan and People for Animal Welfare (PAW) Foundation.

Supreme Court lawyer Saqeb Mahbub filed the writ petition on behalf of the writ petitioners. 

The petition aimed to put an end to the use of elephants in captive circuses, rides, and various events, as well as prevent their training through torture for such purposes.

The petition highlights the inhumane treatment of captive elephants in Bangladesh, urging the court to intervene and address the issue.

It also noted that despite efforts by animal rights activists and promises made by the forest department, no substantial action has been taken to address the abuse of elephants.

Abused elephants, expressing inner anger and pain, have been involved in incidents leading to the loss of lives and property in localities.

The filing emphasizes the violation of laws such as the Wildlife (Preservation and Security) Act, 2012, and the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019, in the context of training elephants through brutal methods for circuses and extortion activities.

The licensing of elephants by the forest department for use in private circuses is also called into question, especially considering the critically endangered status of the Asian elephant, according to the IUCN Red List.


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