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Centre notifies rules allowing transfer of ‘captive’ elephant

Why is it in the news?

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued the Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024, in exercise of powers conferred under the Wildlife (Protection) Act (WPA) 1972.

Some of the Key Highlights

  • Application for the transfer of captive elephants must be made to the Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) with jurisdiction over the area where the elephant is registered.

Upon receipt of the application, the DCF is required to:

  • Obtain a certificate from a veterinary practitioner.
  • Conduct an inquiry and physical verification of the facility where the elephant is currently housed and proposed to be housed.
  • Forward the application/report to the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW) within fifteen days.

For transfers within the state:

  • After examining the report, the CWW will permit or reject the transfer within seven days.

For transfers outside of states:

  • The CWW of the donor state will forward the application to the CWW of the recipient state within fifteen days.

Terms and conditions for transfer include:

  • The owner must no longer be able to maintain the elephant.
  • No transfer is allowed unless the genetic profile of the animal has been entered into the electronic monitoring application of MoEFCC, etc.
  • Elephant transfer must be completed within three months from the date of permission granted. Transport permits are valid for one month.
Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus)

·       A subspecies of Asian elephants native to the Indian subcontinent.

·       Habitat includes dry-thorn forests, moist and dry deciduous forests, tropical evergreen, and semi-evergreen forests.

·       Karnataka has the highest number of elephants followed by Assam according to the Elephant Census 2017.


·       Leader of an elephant group: Female.

·       Maximum gestation period: 22 months.

·       Conservation status: IUCN status: Endangered; CITES status: Appendix I; and WPA, 1972 Schedule I.


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