The Election Commission has advised political parties and candidates not to use animals in election campaigns.
If using them is unavoidable,then parties,particularly those whose symbols depict birds or animals,must ensure there is no violation of laws dealing with cruelty to animals,EC Principal Secretary K F Wilfred has said in an advisory to all recognised parties.
The EC has said there should be no live demonstration of an animal or bird.
The advisory pointed out that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960,and Wildlife Protection Act,1972,prohibit torture of animals. Further,use of animals for work is regulated by Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules,1965.
The EC issued the advisory following complaints that horses,ponies,donkeys,elephants,camels and bulls are subjected to cruelty during campaigns. They are often made to work long hours without adequate food and water and made to carry loads beyond permissible limits at times they are used to carry election material as well and some candidates even paint slogans and symbols on them using harmful chemicals,the complaints said.