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Elephants: Conservation

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL4721, tabled on 17 December 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of India about the conservation of Asian elephants including banning the use of elephants in tourist attractions.

Answered on

4 January 2016

The UK is committed to conserving Asian elephants and recognises the growing threats to their populations, particularly from poaching and cross-border illegal trade in live animals to meet the demand from the tourist and entertainment industries. The UK has been working internationally through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to increase protection for Asian elephants. In 2014 the UK led successful efforts to ensure that Asian elephant range states have relevant legislation and enforcement in place to tackle illegal cross-border trade.

During Indian Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK on 12 November, he and the Prime Minister issued a joint statement resolving to work together to improve protection for both captive and wild Asian elephants. This provides a firm foundation for future co-operation with India to address this important issue.