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Can New Animal Protection Laws Save Animals From Exploitation In Tourism Industry? – OpEd – Eurasia Review

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Elephants are thought of to be amongst probably the most clever animals on the earth. Sadly, their playfulness and talent to study are steadily abused and elephants are used as instruments to generate revenue.

In latest years, Sri Lanka has been changing into an more and more in style vacationer vacation spot. While that could be a great factor for the nation’s financial system, it actually is just not useful to Sri Lankan elephants.    

That is as a result of elephant rides have develop into one of the crucial in style vacationer actions within the nation. For many, driving elephants or watching performances that function them are the highlights of their journey. Not many guests are conscious of the results of this apply, nonetheless.  

Riding elephants bears many harms

Behind what vacationers see as an amusing, as soon as in a lifetime expertise hides excessive cruelty and exploitation of animals. Using elephants for tourism and threatening them into obedience means depriving them of their freedom. They are stored in captivity, remoted from different elephants and sometimes chained, not with the ability to transfer round freely. Elephants are social animals, able to forming emotional connections with different members of their herd. If one in every of them is killed or taken away, others might be negatively affected. 

To meet vacationer demand, elephants are sometimes compelled to work lengthy hours in excessive warmth. They get only a few breaks as vacationers usually line up ready for his or her flip to trip the animals. 

Even the tools used throughout the rides is dangerous to elephants. Tourists sit on them in howdahs, steel chairs connected to their backs. During the rides, the seats rub elephants’ pores and skin and trigger blisters that may result in severe infections. To management elephants throughout rides, mahouts use bullhooks, that are stout poles with steel hooks at one finish. That bodily harms the animals. 

What vacationers additionally overlook is the truth that earlier than elephants can be utilized for rides, they should endure violent coaching periods. Many elephant sanctuaries or wildlife parks declare to take excellent care of their animals. Still, if they provide elephant rides, it normally signifies that a sure diploma of exploitation and abuse is concerned. 

The new guidelines are a step in the proper path

Last month the federal government of Sri Lanka launched numerous rules designed to guard the elephants.

The new legislation additionally requires elephant homeowners to make it possible for the animal they personal has an identification card and will get two-and-a-halh-hour lengthy tub every day. On high of that, homeowners should have a minimum of three acres of land in order that the animal can transfer round reely, and child animals can’t be separated from their moms and used for work. The final rule goals to resolve the issue of little elephants being stolen from wildlife parks after which exploited by people working within the tourism trade. 

The new rules additionally say that not more than 4 folks can trip an elephant without delay, and riders can now not trip elephants after having consumed alcohol. 

Those who don’t adjust to the brand new legal guidelines threat having their elephants taken away and may withstand three years in jail. 

The objective of the rules is to forestall elephants from being harmed and abused with the only goal of entertaining vacationers. 

But can the brand new legal guidelines truly make a distinction?

Many wonder if the brand new guidelines can enhance the conservation efforts in Sri Lanka or whether or not the exploitation of elephants will tackle totally different types and proceed. When the principles had been first introduced, they gained lots of constructive press. Now, nonetheless, conservationists say that the enforcement of those guidelines might be extraordinarily difficult and that punishments for the violation of them should not clear sufficient. 

Moreover, so long as elephants are stored in captivity, abuses and exploitation will maintain occurring. The new legal guidelines characterize a step in the proper path however to really defend the animals, utilizing them for leisure functions must be banned fully. 

Sri Lanka has been combating the issue of individuals forging paperwork to buy elephants illegally for years. If the apply continues, no wildlife safety legal guidelines will be capable of save the animals. Hence, higher monitoring of alleged traffickers is critical. 

It nonetheless stays to be seen whether or not those that personal elephants will truly observe the brand new guidelines. What is for certain, nonetheless, is that Sri Lanka’s elephants are thought of critically endangered and, if the rules should not absolutely carried out, their inhabitants will maintain lowering. 

*About the creator: Katarzyna Rybarczyk is a Political Correspondent for Immigration Advice Service, an immigration legislation agency based mostly within the UK however working globally. Through her articles, she goals to lift consciousness about safety threats worldwide and the challenges going through communities dwelling in low and middle-income nations.