Varisu: Makers Of Thalapathy Vijay Starrer In Trouble Over The Use Of Elephants Without Permission

Makers of ‘Warisu’ get notice for using elephants without permission (Photo credits-still from Warisu)

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has issued a show cause notice to the makers of upcoming Tamil film ‘Varisu’ for using five elephants without obtaining mandatory permission.

Acting on a private complaint, the AWBI issued a notice to Hyderabad-based Venkateswara Creations for using elephants without pre-shoot permission from the board.

starring Thalapathy Vijay and Rashmika MandannaProducing ‘Varisu’ Dil Raju Under the banner of Venkateswara Creations.

AWBI secretary SK Dutta said in the notice dated November 23 that the filmmaker has violated the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001.

Under the rules, every person exhibiting or training animals must be registered with the Board.

As per the notice, the board had not received the pre-shoot application from Venkateswara Creations.

Exhibition of animals without the permission of the Board is an offense under section 26 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

The Board has directed Venkateswara Creations to submit a full and comprehensive explanation of the violations within seven days, failing which the Board will take any action it deems fit and necessary for the welfare of the animals.

Elephants are protected under Schedule-I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and obtaining prior permission for using performing animals in films as per Rule 7(2) of the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 mandatory.

A prescribed format is to be followed specifying the type of animal, the age of the animal, the physical health of the animal, the nature of the performance to be performed by the animal, the period for which the animal will be used for such performance – It should be provided with a certificate of ownership in the case of animals covered under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 along with a fitness certificate issued by a veterinary doctor certifying the health and fitness of the animal.

However, apart from obtaining a transit permit from the office of the Chief Wildlife Warden, the production house reportedly did not consult the board.

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