High Court bans use of elephants in circus, extortion Elephant
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High Court bans use of elephants in circus, extortion

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 26 Feb 2024, 12:37 pm

Dhaka, Feb 26: The High Court has ordered the suspension of licensing and renewal of licenses for the use of elephants for circus and extortion in the country. As a result, elephants cannot be used for commercial activities like circus or extortion from now on.

The court also issued a ruling seeking to know why the inaction of the authorities to prevent torture and cruelty to elephants would not be illegal and why it would not be illegal to license and renew licenses for private ownership of elephants for recreational use. The defendants of the case have been asked to respond to the ruling.

Besides, the court has suspended the issuance of new licenses and renewal of old licenses for the rearing of wild animals during the interim period. The High Court bench comprising of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Kazi Zeenat Haque gave this order after hearing on the writ petition made in public interest.

Barrister Saqib Mahbub, the petitioner's lawyer, appeared on behalf of the petitioners in the court. Deputy Attorney General Amit Das Gupta was in the hearing for the state. On February 18, a public interest writ was filed in the High Court to stop captive elephants from being used for various entertainment purposes like circuses, travelling on elephants, beautifying wedding houses, advertising in rallies of commercial and political organizations and training them through torture to force elephants for this use. Actress Jaya Ahsan and animal rights organization People for Animal Welfare Foundation wrote a petition. Representing the writ petitioners is Architect Rakibul Haque Emil, founder and chairperson of People for Animal Welfare Foundation.

According to the writ petition, the organization has been carrying out various programs for several years to demand an end to the training of captive elephants in Bangladesh through torture, their use for entertainment and extortion by elephants. Meanwhile, animal rights activists surrounded the forest building twice. At that time various promises were made by the forest department, but later no fruitful role was seen. Although letters have been sent time and time again to take action regarding the abused elephants, no proper response has come from the department.