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Forest dept's plan to conduct jumbo parade draws flak

Forest depts plan to conduct jumbo parade draws flak

Thiruvananthapuram: The state Forest Department's plan to conduct an elephant parade, involving more than 100 pachyderms as part of a tribal fest here next month, has drawn flak from activists, who held it as cruelty to animals.

Thrissur-based Heritage Animal Task Force alleged that jumbo parades inflict high degree of torture and stress on the animals during travel and parading time.

The outfit also claimed the move to conduct the parade is a clear violation of a recently issued state government circular as per which nobody can hold elephant parades under any circumstances.

"We strictly oppose the department's move to conduct the elephant parade," Animal Heritage Task Force's Secretary V K Venkatachalam said.

The jumbo parade is scheduled here in April as part of 'Kanana Samgamam', an expo showcasing the livelihood, culture, art and craft of people living in and around forest.

Meanwhile, Forest Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said the department is yet to take a final decision in this regard.

"We have considered a plan to conduct an elephant parade in connection with Kanana Sangamam. But, we have not taken a final decision whether to hold the parade or not. A meeting of authorities concerned will be convened soon and a final decision taken in this regard," he told PTI.

Venkitachalam said the idea of bringing over 100 elephants from all the districts here was not congenial for the health and well-being of elephants, mahouts and the general public because of the inherent risk of threats to their lives.

"Moreover, elephants are very sensitive to the new places where they are forced to walk or stand. So, we appeal to the state government to immediately cancel the proposed jumbo parade," he added.

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