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Give domesticated elephants stronger legislation by classing them under the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act 1992

This petition had 4,419 supporters

Asian elephants are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Currently it is estimated there are between 2500-3200 wild Asian elephants left in Thailand, however there are a shocking 3000-4000 elephants in captivity, working in a vast tourist-fueled industry [1]. 

The aim of this petition is to give domesticated elephants stronger legislation in regards to their welfare and care. Domesticated elephants in Thailand are currently classed under the Draught Animal Act of 1939, entitling them with the same rights as livestock. This law, applied to ‘define the rights and obligations of ownership,’ has no welfare applications for the animals [1]. In 2013, in Bangkok, the former prime minister of Thailand gave the opening speech at a CITES meeting stating that improvements to the laws covering domesticated elephants need to be made. Although there was no deadline for amending the legislation, her government did propose bringing domesticated elephants under the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act, giving them rights equal to that of wild elephants [1]. However, time has passed and nothing has been enforced. This petition brings the issue back to the forefront. Better regulation of domestic elephants will mean fewer wild elephants brought into captivity, and improved animal welfare for those already captive. Hence, this petition will assist in the conservation of wild elephants. 

 For elephants in the tourism industry in Thailand, the harsh training and less than adequate living condition are a welfare concern. In 2010 the World Society Protection of Animals, now known as World Animal Protection, compiled a survey on animals used for entertainment in Thailand. Elephant venues throughout Thailand were assessed based on animal husbandry conditions and given a rating as commendable, inadequate or severely inadequate. Out of the elephant venues surveyed, 80% were classed as severely inadequate and 15% were classed as inadequate.  This left only 5% of the elephant venues in Thailand with a commendable rating. The main welfare issues were: the severe control of the animals’ freedom of movement by chaining or containment to small cages, limited opportunity for social interaction, participation in stressful and physically demanding show activities, insufficient or non-existent veterinary care and inadequate nutrition [2].

 Domesticated elephants in Thailand, classed under the Draught Animal Act of 1939 are only given the same legal rights as livestock. This has lead to many ethical concerns in tourist venues throughout the country. Please sign this petition and change the legal status of domesticated elephants in Thailand.



Currently in Thailand there is no government, at this this moment in time we are gathering as much support as we can to produce this petition to them for when they return, so please do not hesitate to sign. 


1.  Nijman, Vincent (2014). An Assessment of the Live Elephant Trade in Thailand. TRAFFIC International  


2. Schmidt-Burbach, Jan (2011). Wildlife on a tight rope: A survey of the use of animals in entertainment in Thailand. The World Society for the Protection of Animals.  

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