Several new regulations have been approved by the cabinet on the proper treatment of domestic elephants. This includes a ban on using young elephants for logging and other physical work.

According to Sustainable Development and Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, several tough conditions have been imposed on elephant owners. These measures are taken to ensure that these legally protected animals are further safeguarded from the cruel treatments they are subjected to by some owners. The rules also stemmed from allegations that over 40 baby elephants had been stolen from national wildlife parks over the last decade to be used as pets.

The new regulations ban the use of working elephants below the age of 10, while those under five cannot be used in parades, even at religious festivals.

Forty-one new conditions have been put in place to ensure minimum standards of care, including the daily diet and exercise routine of the animals. Violations of these regulations will result in the loss of ownership licence and up to three years in jail.

The Minister is also reportedly looking to regulate the use of elephants in movie productions.