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Elephant Polo Match Canceled In India

India Elephant

08/21/11 07:12 AM ET   AP

JAIPUR, India -- An elephant polo match has been canceled in the northern Indian city of Jaipur after animal rights activists objected that the sport was cruel to the animals.

The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called the cancellation of Sunday's match "a victory for the elephants."

Beer giant Carlsberg India had yanked its sponsorship of the Polo Cup in the northern state of Rajasthan after protests, Jaipur District Magistrate Naveen Mahajan said.

Officials also noted the elephants were not properly registered as performing animals.

Polo played on elephants instead of horses is a popular novelty sport in Nepal, India and Thailand, and it has been staged in Jaipur for about four decades.

Activists say polo-playing elephants, however, are trained through harsh means including being poked with metal rods and hooks.

Elephants are protected in India, where there are more than two dozen sanctuaries for wild tuskers.

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Filed by Benjamin Hart  |