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Animal rights activists prevent the use of sick elephant in Indian magic show


Late last month we reported on a petition brought against Indian magician Jadugar Anand by animal rights group, People for Animals, (incorrectly translated as “People for Animal,” by the original source). The group was petitioning the Indore circuit bench of the Madhya Pradesh high court to confiscate a seemingly injured performing elephant from the magician, arguing that the use of the elephant in the magic show violated the Wildlife Protection Act. Justice Vivek Rusia has since ordered the magician to stop using the animal in his show, which was set to end on June 17th anyway, and directed the owner to take better care of the animal.

Anand waited until the last date of the hearing to submit an on-the-record photograph of the elephant being used in the show. The picture showed that the open wound on the elephant’s rear leg had healed, but the animal was also suffering from severe arthritis and required immediate care, according to animal physician, Dr. Uttam Yadav. According to Indian law, healthy animals can be used in performances, but injured, sick or pregnant animals cannot. 

The future of the elephant is as of yet unclear. People for Animals were originally asking the court to have the animal released into the wild, or put into care. The case will continue after court vacations. 

While it’s obvious that injured or sick animals should not be used in magic performances, many people, including myself, feel that prohibition should carry over to any non-domesticated animal, regardless of the state of their health. What do you think? Sound off in the comments or let us know on Twitter.