Colombo - Sri Lanka unveiled tougher laws Wednesday, including a ban on using young elephants for logging and other physical work, as part of a crackdown on cruelty to domesticated wild animals.
Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said the cabinet approved new regulations imposing tough conditions on owners of elephants, which are considered sacred by Buddhists in Sri Lanka.
The animals are also legally protected but are often subjected to cruel treatment by some owners.
Under the new regulations seen by AFP, owners are banned from using working elephants below the age of 10 years while those under five years cannot be used in parades, even at religious festivals.
There are 41 new conditions aimed at ensuring minimum standards of care, including the daily diet that should include fresh fruit in addition to leaves and vegetables.
Owners must also take their elephants for daily walks of not less than five kilometres and the animals must be allowed two and a half hours for bathing.
The minister is also seeking to regulate the use of elephants in movie productions.
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