Wildlife Ministry advised to draft policy on management of captive elephants

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The Parliament Sectoral Oversight Committee on Sustainable Development and Environment and Natural Resources has directed the Ministry of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs to draft a new policy and legal system for the management of captive elephants.

At a meeting held in Parliament recently the Committee directed the officials of the Ministry to prepare the draft and submit it to the Oversight Committee as soon as possible.

It was also suggested that this policy or legislation should be formulated with strict rules and regulations as seen in other countries such as Thailand.

Committee member and Member of Parliament, Sandith Samarasinghe pointed out at the meeting that the news of elephants being used for various activities including tourism in Sri Lanka has adversely affected the reputation of Sri Lanka internationally which is detrimental to Sri Lanka’s reputation as a Buddhist country. For the past few years number of death were reported when the elephants were used for various activities.

It was discussed that the use of electric fences for the prevention of the conflict between wild elephants and humans, along with the conflict resolving procedures used in other countries such as Africa should be implemented as pilot projects in Sri Lanka.

The Oversight Committee simultaneously looked into the problems faced by the public in the North Western Province and Cheddikulam in Vavuniya as a result of monkeys of the mentioned areas.

The Members of Parliament Charles Nirmalanathan, Aravind Kumar and Susantha Punchinilame, Ministry of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs and officials of the Department of Wildlife Conservation were in participation at this meeting.