Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Increase in captive elephants kept in cruel conditions
When not giving rides or performing, the elephants were bound to chains less than 3m long.

Report shows trend for elephant rides is growing 

The rise in wildlife tourism has led to a huge increase in the number of elephants being kept in cruel and unacceptable conditions, according to a new report.

Published by World Animal Protection (WAP), the Taken for a Ride report found there has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of captive elephants in Thailand in just five years.

The study of some 3000 captive elephants found that three out of four are living in poor and unacceptable conditions. When not giving rides or performing, the elephants were bound to chains less than 3m long and kept on concrete floors close to loud music, crowds and roads.

“The cruel trend of elephants used for rides and shows is growing,” Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach, global wildlife and veterinary advisor at World Animal Protection explains. “We want tourists to know that many of these elephants are taken from their mothers as babies, forced to endure harsh training and suffer poor living conditions throughout their life.

“There is an urgent need for tourist education and regulation of wildlife tourist attractions worldwide. Venues that offer tourists a chance to watch elephants in genuine sanctuaries are beacons of hope that can encourage the urgently-needed shift in the captive elephant tourism industry.”

Carried out between 2014 and 2016, the WAP report surveyed venues in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India.

Following an inspection of 220 venues housing a total of 2,923 elephants, only 194 elephants were found to be living in high welfare captive conditions. At these venues, there were no rides or performances and the elephants walked free during most of the day. 

Image (C) Vinoth Chandar/Wikimedia Commons

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Newborn okapi named after Meghan Markle

News Story 1
 An endangered okapi recently born at London Zoo has been named Meghan - after Prince Harry’s fiancé Meghan Markle - in celebration of the upcoming royal wedding. Okapis are classed as endangered in the wild, having suffered ongoing declines since 1995. Zookeeper Gemma Metcalf said: “We’re very pleased with how mother and baby are doing. Oni is being very attentive, making sure she regularly licks her clean and keeping a watchful eye over Meghan as she sleeps.” Image © ZSL London Zoo  

News Shorts
Vet photography goes on display in Parliament

An exhibition of photographs taken by vets has gone on display in the Houses of Parliament. The ‘Through the eyes of vets’ exhibition aims to give parliamentarians a unique insight into the diversity of veterinary surgery. Taken by members of the BVA, the 22 photographs depict an array of subjects from across the UK and overseas.