Prince Emmanuel de Merode is an anthropologist and conservationist and, since 2008, Director of the Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to which office he was appointed by the Congolese Government. Despite vagaries of civil war, insurgencies and commercial predations upon the natural wonders of the Park, Emmanuel has worked tirelessly and courageously to protect the Park’s precious but endangered wildlife and habitat and to direct his staff of several hundred park rangers. In 2014 Emmanuel survived an attempt on his life when ambushed by unidentified gunmen. Despite serious injuries he returned to his duties within weeks. For more on Emmanuel’s work at Virunga view the film Drillers in the Mist.


Jigmi Yoser Thinley has served on three occasions as Prime Minister of Bhutan, most recently from 2008 to 2013, when he was the first person to hold that position after the inception of democracy in Bhutan. In a distinguished career he has held other high offices of State including Foreign Minister and Home and Cultural Affairs Minister; as the Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the United Nations and as the country’s ambassador to several European countries and to the EU.

Jigmi Thinley is a leading proponent of the Bhutanese concept of Gross National Happiness, which tracks indicators such as environmental conservation, cultural preservation and good governance in addition to economic measures such as GDP, to demonstrate a holistic indication of a country’s development. He has been instrumental in raising GNH to a global level of recognition. Jigmi Thinley is the recipient of numerous domestic and international awards, most recently the 2015 Outstanding Individual Award at the World Forum for Ethics.

Asian elephants are integral to Bhutan’s rich eco diversity. Jigmi Thinley shares STAE’s hope that they will remain protected from commercial exploitation by tourism, illegal hunting and habitat loss.


For over 50 years Dr Chinny Krishna’s has been a voice of immense courage, integrity and influence across India and beyond for the wellbeing of Asia’s precious wildlife and all animals. Dr Krishna is Chairman Emeritus of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations and co-founder and former Chairman of the Blue Cross of India. He is a director of the CPR Environmental Education Centre in India. As the former Vice-Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India he is amongst the foremost advocates for the cause of elephants and other endangered species across the subcontinent. Dr Krishna has received numerous prestigious awards for his dedicated work for animals and is widely lauded as “the grand old man of animal welfare in India”.


Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, Bt. is an internationally renowned Polar explorer, the first human to reach both Poles by surface. He climbed to the summit of Mount Everest aged 65. He holds several endurance records and is famed for many extraordinary feats of courage and determination. Sir Ranulph is also a successful author and chronicler of Polar history and a widely respected advocate for endangered wildlife and the natural world.

STAE is privileged to have Patrons of such distinction and renown supporting its work.



Evanna is an internationally acclaimed Irish film and theatre actress whose roles include Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films. She is a committed animal activist with a global audience. Evanna is a passionate advocate of STAE and its policies. In 2018, she travelled across India with our CEO Duncan McNair and The Sun newspaper to report first-hand on the brutality endured by captive Asian elephants and the threats to them. She participated as STAE presented petitions of over 3 million signatures for Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street calling for a ban on advertising in the UK of unethical elephant ‘attractions’ abroad.


Peter is a BAFTA-winning British actor whose numerous television, film and stage credits include Downton Abbey, Chariots of Fire and Ever Decreasing Circles. He is a tireless campaigner for animal welfare. Peter has embraced STAE’s campaign to help the critically endangered Asian elephant. He speaks about STAE’s work with authority and integrity across all media channels, and is eloquent in conveying the cruelty endured by the Asian elephants ensnared in tourism, and the need for change.


Andrew has an enviable record as a leading journalist and reporter on the Daily Mirror, the UK’s second largest circulation newspaper, in exposing dishonest schemes and frauds. Over several decades he has led many campaigns to bust scams and right wrongs, to stand up for the defenceless in society and to back causes giving voice to the voiceless of the animal kingdom.


Liz is a highly experienced journalist and columnist for the Mail group of newspapers. She has been instrumental in helping Save The Asian Elephants expose the horrors of captive Asian elephants ensnared in tourism to an enormous international audience and to demonstrate the urgent need for new law to ban advertising of unethical and brutal venues.


Megan is a zoologist, conservationist and TV presenter who, with her stepfather Chris Packham CBE, jointly hosts BBC TV’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch series. She is a dedicated and articulate champion of the natural world with an ever growing following of online supporters and fast becoming a key spokesperson for the younger generation on numerous issues concerning the wellbeing of our planet and its wild populations. Megan has a passionate desire to help the Asian elephants at a time of their deep peril


Giles is a leading intellectual property lawyer and joint managing partner of a major City of London law firm. Clients include household name brands, media companies and tech platforms. He previously worked as a media law barrister and is a trustee of the Internet Watch Foundation. Giles has a longstanding interest and involvement in environmental, conservation and animal welfare issues.


Bella is a leading voice speaking to today’s youth about the environment, conservation and the compassionate treatment of animals. She blogs regularly, contributes to leading journals, and uses her social media channels to raise awareness with an ever-growing international audience. She speaks at wildlife conferences and to young audiences to encourage their involvement in environmental matters. Bella became motivated to speak up for Asian elephants after a trip to Thailand to expose the realities of pajan (the brutal beating of elephants to break their spirits), an experience she described as ‘eye-opening’ and ‘harrowing’.



Duncan read law at Bristol University where he was Vice-President of the Debating Union. He is a prominent corporate litigation lawyer described in Legal 500, the leading peer and client review directory of recommended lawyers, as “indefatigable” and is named as “the client’s champion.” Duncan was Chairman of the McNair Inquiry and Report (2013) on the welfare of farmed animals, commissioned by the RSPCA. Duncan is an experienced public speaker whose audiences have included the Cambridge Union, the Chartered Institute of Bankers and many campaigning and interest groups. In recent years he has been regularly invited to address All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Animal Welfare and on Endangered Species regarding the plight of Asian elephants . In 2016 Duncan addressed a large audience at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on STAE’s policies, a presentation described by the Chairman as “dramatic and shocking.” In 2017 Duncan was part of a small, key group representing 220 charities and MPs in presenting a letter to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street demanding abolition of the UK ivory trade. A proposed ban was announced immediately. In 2018 Duncan was named Winner of the Animal Hero of the Year award at the Animal Star Awards, which attracted 850 nominations nationally. Duncan frequently publishes on animal welfare issues of national interest. He is also the author of a series of best-selling humour books.


Virendra has been the Member of Parliament for Ealing Southall since 2007. He was born in India and educated at the London School of Economics. He speaks fluent Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu. He is Chairman of the Indo-British All-Party Parliamentary Group, Vice-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils, a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health and a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights. Virendra has made official overseas visits as an MP to numerous countries including various regions of India, Mauritius and South Korea. He has had a lifelong concern for the wellbeing of the wildlife of India and its natural environment.


Stanley read Greats at Exeter College, Oxford. He has worked in senior positions at the World Bank and at the European Commission and is a former Member of the European Parliament. Stanley is widely travelled and a renowned author and expert on environmental and welfare issues. He has received both the RSPCA’s Richard Martin Award for Outstanding Services to Animal Welfare and the Greenpeace Award for Outstanding Services to the Environment. Stanley is published regularly in the national press. His books include Where the Wild Things Were: Travels of a Conservationist.


Madhulal is an experienced veterinary surgeon with a distinguished record of academic achievement. He holds various post graduate qualifications and distinctions. Madhulal has particular expertise in all aspects of the proper management and treatment of Asian elephants. He has been appointed to leading roles as a veterinary surgeon and manager of various highly regarded projects directed to improving standards of elephant welfare and good husbandry and the dissemination of knowledge and information of these across several range states of India. He has also been instrumental in building networks with government departments, veterinarians, elephant owners and mahouts aimed at raising awareness of improved welfare standards. Madhulal is the author of and a contributor to many learned papers on the healthcare and management of Asian elephants. He is an accomplished speaker at international symposiums on these topics. In 2008 Madhulal was awarded the prestigious Eco Warrior Award by the Vice President of India, and also WORLD’s Wildlife Conservation Award. He is fluent in English, Hindi and Malayalam.


Peter Collins is a qualified solicitor practising in the insurance industry in the City of London. He has been an active member of several major animal welfare charities for many years. Peter has played important roles in campaigns against the abuse of EU citizens’ taxes to fund bullfighting fiestas in Europe, the dog and cat meat trade in Asia, dog fighting, the live export trade, and exposing the health consequences for humans arising from the abuse of farm animals in their rearing, transport and slaughter. He has also been closely involved in the campaign to show the link between those who commit cruelty to animals and those who express violence to other people. Peter is a regular and effective correspondent with politicians and companies throughout the world.


The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Stockton

Alexander is the first grandson of former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. He was educated at Eton and at universities in France and Scotland. He was a journalist and reporter and subsequently held senior positions on several major national newspapers, and was Chairman of Macmillan Publishers Limited. He is a former Member of the European Parliament and was also Master of a City livery company. Alexander remains active in national and European politics and in conservation and animal welfare issues. He has been awarded a number of honorary degrees from British universities.


Linda is a highly experienced animal welfarist and business leader, having spent over 30 years as a consultant in information technology and business solutions for leading global companies such as IBM, Oracle, P&O, Ford and Cisco. Linda has also been actively involved for many years in various animal welfare enterprises and is currently serving her third term as a Trustee of RSPCA. She is the founder and CEO of Animal Kind.


Ian is a tropical field biologist and conservationist, known globally for his work with mountain gorillas and elephants. He has spent 40 years in research and conservation for the protection of endangered species and their forest habitat and in explaining their interdependence and importance to the environment. Ian was instrumental in helping to achieve the ban on the international ivory trade. He was awarded the OBE by the Queen for services to conservation in 2006. He served as Ambassador for the UN Year of the Gorilla in 2009, and has been Ambassador for the UNEP Convention on Migratory Species since 2010. Ian holds various honorary degrees and also a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in recognition for his work on more than 100 documentaries and films. Ian is a leading proponent of virtual ecotourism.


Peter read economics and law at Trinity College, Cambridge and is a qualified lawyer. He is the Chief Policy Advisor of Compassion in World Farming, and works for STAE in his personal capacity. In 2004 Peter was the joint recipient of the highly prestigious RSPCA Lord Erskine Award in recognition of a “very important contribution in the field of animal welfare”. Peter has played a leading role in winning the EU bans on veal crates, battery cages and sow stalls as well as a new status for animals in EU law as sentient beings. He has written comprehensive legal analyses of EU legislation on farming animals and of the impact of the WTO rules on animal welfare. Peter is lead author of the recent study by the FAO reviewing animal welfare legislation in the beef, pork and poultry industries. He has written well-received reports on the economics of livestock production and on the detrimental impact of industrial farming on the resources – land, soil, water, biodiversity – on which man’s future ability to feed itself depends. Peter was awarded the OBE in 2020 for services to animal welfare.


David has 25 years experience lobbying for political and legislative change on behalf of leading UK environmental and conservation organisations including the Environment Agency, WWF, RSPCA and IFAW. He has been a key advocate in successful campaigns such as that leading to the UK’s rigorous ivory ban. David has visited several Asian elephant range states while working for welfare organisations and has witnessed first hand the terrible impact on Asian elephants of unethical tourism. He works for STAE in his personal capacity.


Lorraine is an experienced campaigner for animal welfare causes in and beyond Westminster. She is co-founder of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, a recipient of RSPCA’s Lord Erskine Award and a Trustee and former vice-chairman of the League Against Cruel Sports. She has also campaigned against the ivory trade.


Cameron is a barrister practising law at leading chambers in London. Whilst at Durham University and bar school, Cameron spent his free time volunteering with elephant sanctuaries across South East Asia, which provide care and rehabilitation to Asian elephants rescued from trekking, logging and circuses. Cameron has witnessed firsthand the cruelty to which Asian elephants are subject for the entertainment of tourists. These experiences fuelled his passion for conservationism and ethical tourism. Cameron volunteers his considerable research, forensic and advocacy skills to further STAE’s objectives in ending the brutal practice of pajan and promoting ethical and sustainable elephant tourism.


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