On 20 April 2018 we held a protest outside the Indian High Commission, with some people wearing chains to symbolise the abuse and torture of temple elephants. The event attracted much attention and was covered by The Independent in a major exposé on the issue and our campaign, as well as by Indian and Keralan media:
But sadly the response didn’t appear to be anything more than lip service, and there’s no evidence that any improvements were brought in. To our knowledge, the elephants’ treatment and suffering remained as bad as ever. But our protest succeeded in bringing public and media attention to the plight of India’s temple elephants, arguably the most egregious case of animal torture in the world.
The only thing that will bring about change is if people stop taking elephant rides and stop visiting events that use elephants for entertainment. A measure of progress was seen in the UK’s Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Act 2023, which bans adverts in the UK for brutal and exploitative practices in animal-related tourism across the world, including elephant rides.