Assam: Forest Department in Nagaon calls for microchip examination in captive elephants

Assam Forest Department, Nagaon requires microchip testing in captive elephants

Guwahati: The Nagaon Forest Division called for the examination of all microchips of any domestic or captive elephants it has under its control, amid reports that several elephants were being moved from Assam.

According to department, the Jumbo owners have been asked to take the Jumbos with them and bring them to the divisional offices for inspection.

Further, the department stated that all registered elephants in Nagaon were kept in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. Mizoram, Tripura & Meghalaya. This order should be followed by the owners and brought to their attention.

Further, the order stated that the orders should be submitted within the 90-day period following the publication of the notice on June 26, 2022.

Further, the forest department stated that anyone who does not follow the orders will face legal action and the elephant could be taken immediately and returned to the State (Assam).

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After several accusations that Assam elephants were being held captive, it was decided to issue an order. 

Earlier, top forest officials of Odisha have said that elephants from Assam are being “smuggled” to Gujarat with false NOCs obtained by using forged signatures.

According to a reportThe Principal Chief Conservator for Forests (Wildlife), and Chief Wildlife Wardens (CWLW), have notified their Assam counterparts and the Wildlife Crime Control Bureaus (WCCB).

In the last month alone, at least eight cases of this nature have been reported. They involve alleged attempts by racketeers, using fake signatures and NOCs, to traffick elephants in Assam. New Indian Express reported.

In seven of the cases, attempts were made to transport elephants from Jamnagar to Gujarat to Radhe Krishna Temple.

Reliance Industries Limited supports Radhe Krishna Temple Elephant Welfare Trust. This organization is located in Jamnagar in Gujarat and is called Moti Khvdi Village in Jamnagar.

This first case involved the traficking of a Jumbo from Assam to Odisha. 

The Odisha CWLW had received a request for the transportation of a captive from Assam, to the Koraput area.

The report stated that after verification by the Divisional Forest Officer, it was discovered that all requirements had not been met. 

The Assam CWLW received a false NOC and sought clarification from the Odisha counterpart.

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CWLW was however perplexed by queries received from its Gujarat counterpart concerning seven NOCs, allegedly issued to transport captive elephants. 

All the seven NOCs were identical – from applicant to destination. Only the description for the jumbos differed.

According to one Mukeswar Konwar, the applicant was a resident of Sivasagar. The signatures were all reportedly faked in order to get the NOCs. 

As if it were a racket, Odisha CWLW wrote to WCCB and all the states in search of information. 

“It seems that a big racket is operating in illegal trafficking. As this illegal operation has inter-state ramifications, it is requested to examine the matter and issue an advisory from the Ministry to all CWLWs to closely scrutinize all the cases/applications of transportation of elephants and to check the authenticity of the documents relating to such transfers from the issuing authorities/states,” the letter mentioned.

Recently, the volunteers of the Adi students’ union had stopped trucks at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh transporting the 10 “domestic elephants”, suspecting illegal animal trafficking.

After the truck drivers produced valid documentation, which included permits from Arunachal Pradesh’s chief wildlife wardens and Gujarat, police in East Siang, Arunachal Pradesh, cleared transportation of elephants.

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The 10 “domestic elephants” were ‘bought’ by the Radhe Krishna temple elephant welfare trust from different owners in the Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal Pradesh Abotani Community Consideration has raised suspicion over the transportation of the elephants demanding the arrest of “those involved in the illegal transportation and smuggling of elephants from our state to other states”.

The Centre for Research on Animal Rights (CRAR) also wrote to the forest departments of Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam over the transportation of the elephants to Gujarat’s Jamnagar from Arunachal Pradesh.

The CRAR considered the transport of elephants suspect and requested a probe.