Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Captive Elephant Transfer Rules, 2024


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Captive Elephant Transfer Rules, 2024

Mains level: NA

What is the news?

  • The Union Environment Ministry has notified a set of rules called the Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024.
  • Elephants, classified as Schedule I species under the Wildlife Protection Act, of 1972 enjoy special protection, but certain provisions allow for their translocation under specific circumstances.

Existing Regulations on Elephant Transfer

  • Legal Framework: The Wildlife Protection Act, of 1972 prohibits the capture or trade of elephants, whether wild or captive, without appropriate authorization.
  • Special Provisions: While strict regulations govern elephant transfer, exceptions exist for educational, scientific, or religious purposes, subject to approval from wildlife authorities.
  • Amendment: The Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022 expanded the scope of elephant transfers, raising concerns among activists about potential exploitation and illegal trafficking.

Captive Elephant Transfer Rules, 2024: Key Highlights

  1. Circumstances for the Transfer of Captive Elephants:

Transfer may be warranted under the following circumstances:

  • Incapability of the owner: When the owner is incapable of adequately ensuring the elephant’s welfare.
  • Superior Care: If it is determined that the elephant will receive superior care in the new environment compared to its current situation.
  • Improvised maintenance: The Chief Wildlife Warden may find it necessary to transfer the elephant for its improved maintenance based on the specific circumstances of the case.
  1. Transfer Within the State:
  • Veterinarian Check: Prior to any transfer within the state, a veterinarian must confirm the elephant’s health status.
  • New habitat verification: The suitability of both the current and prospective habitats must be assessed by the Deputy Conservator of Forests.
  • Chief Wildlife Warden’s Role: He/She holds the authority to approve or reject the transfer based on these evaluations.
  1. Transfer Outside the State:

Similar conditions apply for transferring elephants beyond state boundaries in addition to-

  • Genetic Profile Registration: Additionally, the elephant’s genetic profile must be registered with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) before the transfer.
  1. Requirements for Elephant Transfer:
  • Accompanying the Master: The elephant must be accompanied by a mahout and an elephant assistant. Adequate provisions for feeding and watering must be arranged during transport.
  • Fitness Certificate: A health certificate issued by a veterinary practitioner confirming fitness for transport is obligatory.
  • Quarantine Mandate: Transport should commence after the completion of any required quarantine period for contagious diseases.
  • Refreshment: Tranquillisers or sedatives: This may be administered to manage nervous or temperamental elephants as prescribed by the veterinary practitioner.



2020: With reference to Indian elephants, consider the following statements:

  1. The leader of an elephant group is a female.
  2. The maximum gestation period can be 22 months.
  3. An elephant can normally go on calving till the age of 40 years only.
  4. Among the States in India, the highest elephant population is in Kerala.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 4 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 3 and 4 only


Practice MCQ:

With reference to the Captive Elephant Transfer Rules, 2024 recently notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India (MoEFCC), consider the following statements:

  1. For transferring outside of a state, an elephant’s genetic profile must be registered with the Environment Ministry before the transfer.
  2. The authority to approve or reject the transfer vests with the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

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