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September 16, 2006

Elephant contraceptive plan criticized

"Suspicious Activity?", originally uploaded by drewbic.

Indian conservation authorities want to give birth control to elephants. The animals are endangered, but officials say that they are so strapped for cash that they can't take care of any more elephants:

Move to control elephant numbers criticised


Kolkata: Wildlife groups have condemned a move by West Bengal to give contraceptives to domesticated elephants to control their numbers saying it would hurt the pachyderm population already under threat.

The eastern state has said it lacked funds for the upkeep of elephants that it employs for patrolling sanctuaries, and will start giving them birth control injections and pills from this month.

But the move has been criticised by wildlife groups who say the animals are already under pressure due to increasing habitat destruction and poaching.India has nearly half of the world's 60,000 Asian elephants. West Bengal accounts for around 400 elephants, 65 of which are in captivity, some of which are used by forest guards for patrolling wildlife sanctuaries.

"We spend over Rs6 million (Dh477,100) on feeding and looking after the elephants every year," said P.T. Bhutiya, a senior West Bengal forestry official. Officials say veterinarians would give injections and pills to about a dozen female elephants starting later this month./p>

"This is just a killing exercise and if the government cannot feed them they should look for sponsors," said Mukuta Mukherjee, coordinator of environmental group Friends of Wetlands and Wildlife. "With the population of elephants decreasing everyday, this move is certainly not on."

The BBC has more on the elephant birth control fight.


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(Insert enormous condom joke here)

Maybe the anti-contraceptive wingnuts can do something useful for a change...>jonny>jonny

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