Monday 01 February 2021 | 38

We are asking to see the vet's report in the interests of Dumba!


Mis à jour le 02 February 2021

Since investigating Dumba's plight in Gard at the beginning of January we have had the images analysed by independent world-renowned experts on elephants. Having received our complaint on 4 January the Public Prosecutor's Department also ordered a veterinary report on the elephant. The examination was carried out on Friday 29 January, in the presence of the press. We are asking for access to the expert's report, in the interests of Dumba.

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Immediately after the vet's visit to Euzet, in Gard, where Dumba is being held, François Schneider, the prosecutor, declared: "This specialist's report indicates that the animal is in good health and is living in suitable conditions." We are asking Barbara Pompili for access to the vet's report. In view of the number of evaluations One Voice has obtained from experts (six!) and their agreement on Dumba's poor state of health, her appalling living conditions and her mental distress, it is important that all reports should be totally transparent and that the law should allow One Voice to have access to the report drawn up on the basis of the examination carried out on the premises of the trainer that contradicts other findings.

It should be remembered that our association is defending the interests of this elephant, which are obviously contrary to those of the person who is exploiting her. It is urgent and essential that the whole of this report be made available to the specialists who have attested in Dumba's favour, who, it is important to note, have no link with the organization.

Mistreatment, a matter of opinion

We maintain that Dumba is being mistreated. There needs to be agreement on what mistreatment is. Are we talking about active mistreatment or passive mistreatment? Each is just as reprehensible as the other and the latter causes just as much damage. Passive mistreatment is failure to provide the animal with care appropriate to its requirements, for example. It does not consist of beatings but of what is hidden from view. In France there is a gap in the law relating to the welfare of wild animals held in captivity: there are no precise guidelines on the requirements of various species. The latest literature on elephants held in captivity confirms that they need to be able to roam freely over several hectares in the company of several other elephants and to communicate their traditions and culture within their group. Being deprived of this possibility constitutes mistreatment. Added to this is the criminal offence of not providing access to food, water and heating.

Two additional expert opinions on Dumba based on our videos and those made by journalists

The two most recent reports agree, as do the four previous reports, on the problems of Dumba's posture and on her breathing, which is very worrying. But for Scott Blais, Chairman, CEO and co-founder of the Global Sanctuary for Elephants, the conditions in which she is being held are harmful and damaging to her welfare:

« It is grossly apparent that Dumba is managed in a facility that is negligent in its responsibility to provide conditions necessary to ensure her wellbeing. Dumba should immediately be removed and placed in a proper facility where she can receive adequate care, appropriate housing, and receive comprehensive medical evaluations. »

Margaret Whittaker, Chairperson and consultant in animal behaviour at Creative Animal Behavior Solutions, goes further and even adds a paragraph on training:

« Based on the video, I cannot determine the training tools used on Dumba, but traditional training or free contact (FC) is certainly the foundation of her training as evidenced by the people around her directing her movements. This traditional training is based on the tenets of negative reinforcement training (NRT), which is demonstrated in the interview video when the people move her away from their touch, but pulling and pushing on her, which by definition, is NRT. »

We are asking for transparency in the case.

Our role in this matter is to provide checks and balances to what the vet instructed by the Public Prosecutor's Office of Alès has said.

If the newspapers are to be believed, this vet's report contradicts the six that we have obtained from independent and objective elephant experts throughout the world. Is the vet who has just carried out an inspection also an expert on elephants? Or, as in the case of Micha, a vet who specialises in equines, or, in the case of Maya, in dogs and cats?

Did he x-ray Dumba's feet, which are causing her so much pain? Take swabs in order to understand the reason for her worrying breathing difficulties? These are all facts mentioned in the six reports.

Dumba is an intelligent, gregarious and socially complex creature. Being deprived of any care for forty years is certainly not a reason for her situation to continue. She must be kept neither in a wagon nor in a makeshift tent. Or if we are told that it is possible, perhaps we should send all wild animals kept in circuses to the paradise that is Euzet!

Julia Mothé
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In the subject

Circuses supply skins and corpses to a tout-Paris taxidermist. Eye opening. Poliakov trial: does France really protect wild animals?

Comments 38

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Vik | Tuesday 16 March 2021

Dumba must be removed from this terrible situation and taken to a sanctuary where there are other elephants and where she can live out the rest of her life in peace and tranquility.
She has been exploited for so many years by uncaring humans. If humans were treated that way, the perpetrators of such cruelty would be prosecuted and imprisoned. There is NO difference whatsoever between how this cruelty will have affected poor lonely Dumba than if it had been done to a human.

Vik Cooke | Tuesday 16 March 2021

Dumba is a sentient being, no different from us humans and the inhumane humans who have mistreated her for 40+ years. She deserves to live the rest of her life in a sanctuary where she can share every day with other elephants and experience kindness and love from the humans who will take care of her, unlike the inhumane humans who have given her nothing except 40 years of misery. Shame on them. They should be prosecuted.

Isaline | Thursday 11 February 2021

Pauvre Dumba !! C'est triste à lire et qu'elle soit toujours exploitée.

ghismo | Thursday 11 February 2021

Le lien avec la nature est rompu pour un certain nombre d'humains, qui ne réalisent plus, ne ressentent plus, la parenté des besoins physiologiques, émotionnels, qui existent entre nous et les autres espèces, notamment les mammifères...
Ni les pauvres, ni les femmes, ni les enfants, ni les animaux, ne sont des objets à réduire en esclavage et maltraiter jusqu'à ce que mort s'en suive.
Pour le moment, il n'y a pas de limites à l'horreur.