Sir Paul McCartney has penned a letter requesting immediate action be taken to aid an abused Indian elephant.

McCartney – a long-time PETA supporter – sent an urgent letter to Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, requesting immediate action be taken to send an abused elephant named Jeymalyatha (also known as Joymala) to a rescue centre for her recovery from psychological trauma.

Joymala has been held captive the Srivilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple in Tamil Nadu. In a viral video, the animal can be seen being beaten with weapons and controlled using pliers.

In his letter, McCartney said: “I am confident that action will be taken to send sorely abused elephant Jeymalyatha (Joymala) to a suitable rescue centre where she can receive the specialised care she needs for her psychological wounds, and can live unchained and in the company of others of her kind.”

McCartney added that though the videos of the animal were heartbreaking, “equally heartbreaking is that this social, intelligent animal is still being forced to live in solitary confinement”.

“I trust you agree that Jeymalyatha has suffered more than enough, and that she deserves to spend the rest of her time on this Earth the way away from her abusive trainers, rehabilitating, and with others of her kind.”

According to a press release, McCartney’s letter follows a veterinary inspection report (and plea by PETA India) on the condition of Joymala, who found that her current handler (mahout) used pliers on her, even in the presence of inspectors.

Inspectors were reportedly forbidden by the mahout to take photographs or video footage of Joymala. The inspection was conducted after two viral videos of the elephant’s treatment emerged in June 2022 and February 2021.

Earlier this year, McCartney teamed up with PETA on a campaign that urged US coffee chain Starbucks to stop charging more for plant-based milk. The former Beatles musician, a vegetarian since 1975 and 2009 founder of Meat Free Mondays, wrote a letter to then-Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson calling for an end to the surcharge on plant-based milk options.

“I must say this surprised me as I understand that in other countries like UK and India, there is the same charge for both types of milk and I would like to politely request that you consider this policy also in Starbucks USA,” McCartney wrote.

“My friends at PETA are campaigning for this. I sincerely hope that for the future of the planet and animal welfare you are able to implement this policy.”

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