Target: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
Goal: Stop parading thirsty, overheated, and stressed elephants through festivals.
Dozens of elephants were recently made to stand for 36 hours at a time in blistering hot weather as part of Thrissur Pooram, a Hindu temple festival in India. The 79 elephants were paraded in front of temples as attractions while bustling crowds, loud music, and even fireworks created extreme stress. This year, Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) veterinarians were reportedly blocked from examining the elephants to ensure their well-being, putting the safety of both the elephants and the festivalgoers at risk.
During the grueling festival, elephants are paraded around the grounds for nearly two days, often without shade or food and with limited access to water. The conditions have caused animals to collapse of exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke. In another case, the stress caused an elephant to run amok, causing mass panic and injuring over 60 revelers.
Despite the fact that the Indian government has laid strict guidelines for the use of elephants in festivals, several reports have surfaced of organizers not following these rules. For example, denying AWBI veterinarians access to the elephants was allegedly done in direct contradiction of a Supreme Court of India order that elephant parades must be inspected and approved by an AWBI committee.
This festival causes extreme physical and mental stress to highly intelligent animals. It also puts both elephants and humans at risk of extreme danger. Sign the petition below to demand that the use of elephant parades at the Thrissur Pooram temple festival is banned permanently.
Dear Prime Minister Modi,
The Thrissur Pooram festival recently saw 79 elephants paraded through roaring crowds, loud music, and even fireworks. The elephants were made to walk in hot weather, without adequate food, water, or shade. In the past, stressed and unhealthy elephants have collapsed or run amok, causing injuries to over 60 people. Despite this, it was reported that festival organizers were still not following safety regulations laid out for elephant parades.
This festival is highly exploitative toward these highly intelligent and emotional animals. In order to protect the physical and mental well-being of elephants as well as save festivalgoers from potential injuries, elephant parades at Thrissur Pooram must be stopped immediately. We, the undersigned, urge you to ban the temple festival from using elephants due to reported refusals to adhere to safety regulations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Megan Coughlin