Tamil Nadu introduces elephant death audit framework

Tamil Nadu’s Forest Department has introduced an elephant death audit framework to put in place a more detailed and transparent process for recording and monitoring elephant deaths in the State.

The broad objectives of Elephant Death Audit Framework (EDAF), the first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, are threefold, said Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forests.

The framework, first of its kind in the country, was launched by Chief Minister MK Stalin at the first meeting of the Tamil Nadu Wildlife Board. It prescribes a “systematic standard protocol for conducting postmortem to determine the reason(s) for death of an elephant, to study and understand the circumstances in cases of preventable and unnatural death of elephants, and to formulate remedial measures for prevention of unnatural and preventive deaths by conducting periodical death audits and monitoring those over time.”

The protocol would be applicable for the reported deaths of elephants in the wild, and would be uniformly followed in all wildlife areas and territorial divisions across the State.

The framework also insists on autopsy procedure to be followed and officials whose presence at the spot is mandatory. In the case of electrocution, for instance, it would be incumbent on Tangedco to depute officials on priority basis to assist in postmortem.