A new directive comes in to force across the EU from the 1st of February which aims to bring an end to the misery of ignored elephants. The new Directive makes it illegal to keep a pachyderm in a domestic environment without making adequate provision for keeping it entertained.
Eva Kjer Hansen, Danish Minister of Agriculture, explained ‘It is increasingly obvious that in many member states people are ignoring domestic elephants, which we believe is detrimental to their welfare. This new Directive brings in minimum standards of social interaction for all types of pachyderm kept indoors and specifies the minimum number of hours to be spent in providing conversation and other stimulation.’
British officials have announced that they intend to exceed these minimum standards, and to extend the legislation to cover not only pachyderms, but tapirs, anteaters and certain types of shrew. French Minister for Agriculture Stéphane Le Foll merely shrugged when interviewed, while Christian Schmidt, the German minister said that Germany welcomed all pachyderms regardless of their origin.
Evangelos Apostolou, the Greek Minister for Agriculture said he would be approaching the European Central Bank for a €35Bn loan to help provide each Greek household with its own elephant care package.