Do we really need to ban animals in tourist spots? An NGO thinks so
An animal rights organisation has apprised the Union Tourism Ministry that humans can contract tuberculosis from elephants, glanders from horses, and camel pox and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome from camels.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has knocked on the doors of Minister of Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel urging him to ban the use of animals in tourist spots as it could lead to spread of zoonotic diseases and pose a threat to public health.
In a letter to Patel, PETA India CEO Manilal Valliyate drew attention to another imminent zoonotic threat and said, “We are letting the ministry of tourism know the use of animals is unsafe for not only the animals but also tourists.
“Those in the tourism industry frequently harbour diseases that can infect humans who are around them.”
Additionally, PETA said that animals in tourist attractions lead to rampant violation of animal protection laws and raises animal welfare concerns.
It said that most of the elephant, camel, and horse rides are illegal since the animals are not registered with the Animal Welfare Board of India, the prescribed authority under The Performing Animal (Registration) Rules, 2001.
When used for rides, animals are controlled with weapons and forced to bear the weight of humans, carriages, and tourists’ luggage. Elephants and other animals are also commonly kept in chains or tightly tethered when not in use, PETA said.