Jodhpur: The birthday bash of British supermodel Naomi Campbell's billionaire boyfriend here will not witness the elephant polo match tomorrow as it was dropped from the programme list following opposition from animal rights activists. The objection raised by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to one of the major attractions of the lavish affair led to the cancellation of the match, sources said.
Campbell was willing to hold the match at the Chami Polo Ground here for her Russian boyfriend Vladimir Doronin and had sent invitations to guests that included several A-listers.
According to PETA, the permission for the match was not taken by Campbell from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). Also the elephants are registered under Rule 3 of the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules 2001 under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which prohibits exhibition or
training of an animal as a performing animal.
After PETA's intervention, the AWBI also wrote to the chief secretary of Rajasthan and the district collector of Jodhpur to ensure that the match, if being organised as a part of the event in Jodhpur, was not in violation of the act. Invoking the act and taking cognisance of the letter, collector Gaurav Goyal asked Campbell not to go ahead with the event in violation of the Act.
"Earlier the organisers had claimed they have got relevant permission for this but later they said they were not going ahead with the event," he said.
Elephant polo matches are, however, not new to Jodhpur as they used to feature in many parties and wedding functions held under the royal settings of the Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Palace.
One such event was organised last week during a wedding here. For this, the permission is granted by Jodhpur Polo and Equestrian Society, which further makes arrangements for the match as the elephants are to be arranged from Jaipur.
But secretary of the society, Col Umaid Singh expressed ignorance about any match arranged by Campbell or AWBI rules.