New law bans drunk driving while riding elephants

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • A new law in Sri Lanka bans the consumption of any liquor or drug before riding an elephant.
  • Consequences for violators include up to three years in prison and seizure of their elephants.
  • The new law also ensures that elephants receive better care from their mahouts (people that work with, ride, or tend to elephants).

Mahouts in Sri Lanka will have to wait until after their shifts to enjoy happy hour.

A new law enacted in the Southest Asian country that will bolster animal protection bans their riders from drinking on the job.

“The person who owns or has the custody of such elephants shall ensure that the mahout (rider) is not consuming any liquor or any harmful drug while employed,” according to Barron’s.

Additionally, the measure requires photo and DNA identity cards registered to every domesticated elephant. The animals will also get bi-annual medical check-ups.

Sri Lanka has roughly 200 domesticated elephants and about 7,500 roaming in the wild.

The new law caps elephant workdays at four hours per day, with work in the evenings strictly prohibited. Film and media may no longer use elephants in their production, except state productions and under veterinary supervision.

Baby elephants, however, can no longer be used for work of any kind, and they cannot be separated from their mothers for any reason beside medical necessity.

Over 40 baby elephants were stolen from Sri Lanka’s national wildlife parks over the past 15 years, experts claim. Capturing a wild elephant in the country is punishable by death, but prosecutions are rare.

Violations of the new legislation could result in up to three years in prison and having their elephants seized by the government.

Sri Lanka had 361 elephant deaths in 2019. A BBC report claims 85% of those deaths can be attributed to human activity.

Source: New York Post

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