British supermodel Naomi Campbell was planning on having an ‘elephant polo’ match in the Indian city of Jodhpur for her boyfriend Vladimir Doronin. However, this was met with stiff defence from the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) animal activist group.
The match was set to be one of the main attractions of the event, being held at the Chami Polo Ground in Jodhpur. Several invitations for the event had already been sent out to many A-Listers as well.
PETA stated that the match had not been sanctioned by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). Moreover, the elephants for the event were protected by the Performing Animals (Resigtration) Rules of 2001, under Rule 3. The rule lies under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which prohibits the training or use of animals for performances.
The district collector of Jodhpur Gaurav Goyal requested Campbell to refrain from going ahead with the match after PETA intervened in the matter. The AWBI also sent a letter to the chief secretary of Rajasthan, requesting that if the event did indeed take place, it should not violate the act in question.
Goyal went on to say that the organisers of the event had said that they had received relevant permission of the match, but later they withdrew their request and said that they will not be holding the match.