In January 2016 STAE was invited to present to MEPs at the European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals.

Duncan explained the brutal “breaking” process of pajan that is used on young elephants to subjugate them for training for use in tourism and temples. He informed the MEPs about what happens behind the scenes at facilities that offer elephant treks and shows to tourists, and about the painful reality of life as a temple elephant. Asian elephants are endangered and subject to serious threats in the wild, including destruction of habitat and migratory corridors, and capture for use in tourism and temples.

STAE has developed policies with expert input both domestically, in Europe and across the range states of the Asian elephants. These are attracting considerable favourable attention and support. Duncan requested that MEPs exert pressure within the EU, domestically and internationally to put an end to pajan and poaching. The meeting generated a great deal of interest among MEPs. STAE thanks the Intergroup and its Members for their support and looks forward to working further with the Intergroup.

Here you can see the slides from Duncan’s presentation and his briefing note and you can take a look at the Intergroup’s activities on their website

Note: the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, known as the ‘Animal Welfare Intergroup’, is the focal point for animal welfare in the European Parliament. This cross-party group of MEPs from across the EU is one of the longest running and largest Intergroups within the European Parliament and has become not only a forum for debate but also a catalyst for action on animal welfare issues.


A guide to the Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Act 2023.