Patna: There is no illegal trading of elephants in Asia's largest cattle fair at Sonepur in Bihar that began on Wednesday, an official said.
"No trade of elephants takes place at the fair," Saran District Magistrate Kundan Kumar told a news agency over phone from Sonepur, about 35 km from here.
He said sale of elephants used to take place only in the past and does not happen any longer. He refuted the charges made by animal rights group International Organisation for Animal Protection.
He said officials monitored the elephants brought to the fair for display to attract people, including foreign tourists.
On Tuesday, Naresh Kadian, country head of the OIPA India, said illegal trading of elephants at fair should be stopped as it violated provisions of Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
The fair is held across 500 acres near the confluence of two rivers - the Ganga and the Gandak.
Animals such as horses, cows, oxen, goats, buffaloes, donkeys, ponies, monkeys, rabbits, bears, cats and guinea pigs are traded at the fair.