Ingrid Newkirk, Founder, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently called on K J Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism, Government of India, and submitted 63,000 digitally-signed appeals from tourists requesting a ban on elephant rides.

The petition was a result of a viral video which showed that the elephant being used for tourism was beaten so hard breaking its leg. Alphons watched the video during the meeting with the Newkirk and assured her that he would take measures to prevent cruelty against elephants.

Newkirk remarked, “Representing tourists from all over the world, who would rather take home photographs of elephants living in nature than memories of a trip ruined by the sad plight of animals It was heartening to hear the Minister express his compassion and respect for the plight of these social, intelligent and sensitive beings thereby pledging to help.”

PETA reported that Alphons has assured Newrick that he will issue an advisory to state governments and union territories on this matter. Earlier, the ministry had also received a letter from Academy Award winner, Anjelica Huston, requesting the minister to stop cruelty towards elephants.