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Outfit flays move to renew ownership certificate for captive elephants

Times of India, New Delhi, September 13, 2014


Noted animal rights group Heritage Task Force has criticised the Kerala forest department's move to renew the ownership certificate for captive elephants, holding that the move will lead to the regularization of illegal ownership of many jumbos. The prescribed application form, issued by the state forest department for renewal of ownership certificate, does not comply with the guidelines in the Union government's Declaration of Wildlife Stock Rule 2003, the outfit alleged. Heritage Task Force also wrote to the ministry of environment and forest, seeking immediate intervention into the issue, its secretary V K Venkatachalam told PTI.


"The application form, released along with the circular released by the office of the chief wildlife warden here, does not seek many relevant information mentioned in the Union government directive issued in 2003," he said. The circular and the form did not mention anything about the self declaration of the inheritance status of the jumbos or the surrendering of the original ownership certificate as cited in the Centre's directive, he added. Windchill also wanted the authorities to make it mandatory to produce the original ownership certificate for its renewal to avoid the possibility of malpractice. According to records, there are over 500 captive jumbos in Kerala.