PETA opposes sending elephants to Turkmenistan

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 12:50 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS) Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Thursday asked Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to reconsider his ministry's decision to send two elephants from the country's zoos to a zoo in Turkmenistan.

The decision, part of an animal exchange programme, is a blatant violation of the Central Zoo Authority's (CZA) directive requiring that all elephants presently confined in zoos be shifted to camps, tiger reserves or national parks, PETA said.

'It's shocking that the government would allow and even support actions that would be illegal in India to occur elsewhere,' says PETA India's Poorva Joshipura.

'This abhorrent breach of both the spirit and the letter of the CZA directive will sentence these two elephants - who have already suffered in zoos for years - to a continued life of loneliness and misery,' she said

In arriving at the ban, the CZA cited major concerns about the living conditions of elephants who are kept in zoos, including the lack of adequate space and the stress caused to the animals as a result of being chained for long hours.

CZA's directive, passed in November 2009, did not mention any time-frame for implementing the order.