London, July 6 (IANS) Lack of trained handlers and poor conditions under which captive elephants are kept are common in the tourism industry in Asia, animal rights body World Animal Protection (WAP) said in a report on Thursday.
WAP surveyed 2,923 elephants living in 220 establishments in Asia in a two-year-long investigation, which reveals insufficient regulations in an industry that keeps most animals in “poor or unacceptable conditions.”
The report puts the spotlight on Thailand, where 2,198 elephants were used for tourism, more than 75 percent of the total, followed by India (617) and Sri Lanka (166).
“When not giving rides or performing, the elephants were typically chained day and night, most of the time to chains less than three meters long. They were also fed poor diets, given limited appropriate veterinary care and were frequently kept on concrete floors in stressful locations near loud music, roads or visitor groups,” said the report, “Taken For a Ride”.
Venues which use elephants for attracting tourists for rides or circus performances have flourished in the last few decades in countries including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
The organization makes an appeal to raise awareness among tourists and asks local communities and governments to improve the regulation and protection of the animals.