THE most important of the Game Laws of Ceylon is Ordinance No. 10 of 1891, which was passed "To prevent the wanton destruction of elephants, buffaloes and other game."

Under this Ordinance a license which costs Rs.100 is required to shoot an elephant. It may be obtained from the Colonial Secretary or any Government Agent or Assistant Government Agent, who, however, may refuse to issue it, or may revoke it after issue. If a license is refused or revoked appeal may be made to the Governor, but it must be sent in within seven days of date of letter refusing or revoking the license. The shooting of tuskers is expressly prohibited, and license is given only to "shoot at or kill " one elephant, and the holder of the license is not at liberty to fire at and wound an unlimited number of elephants till he kills one. The officer issuing the license may insert any conditions he pleases, such as that no cow-elephants, or any bulls under a certain height, are to be killed, and may restrict the district or forest and the time within which the animal may be shot at. No license can be in force more than three months. Free licenses may be issued to shoot any "troublesome or dangerous" tusker or elephant.

Any person shooting a tusker without a license is liable to a fine of Rs.1,000 and confiscation of the tusks, and shooting a tuskless elephant without license involves a fine of Rs.250, with perhaps six months' rigorous imprisonment added.

To capture a tusker or other elephant a license costing Rs.10 is required which will cease to be in force after three months. If the elephant caught is taken out of the Island an export duty of Rs.250 must be paid.

To shoot a wild buffalo a license which costs Rs.20, and which will only be in force three months, must be obtained from the Government Agent or Assistant Government Agent. A license to capture one costs only Rs.2.

Any person shooting or capturing a buffalo without a license may be fined Rs.100 and given three months' imprisonment in addition. There is no close season for buffaloes. Free licenses may be issued to shoot any " troublesome or dangerous " buffalo.

" Game " is defined in the Ordinance to mean "sambhur, spotted deer, red deer, barking deer and peafowl."

To shoot at, kill or capture game a license which costs Rs.3.50, and which will be in force "from date of issue till the 30th day of June next following," must be obtained from the Government Agent or Assistant Government Agent. It is prohibited to shoot game during the close season proclaimed by the Government Agent, which may not exceed five months in any year ; also to shoot at game "after dark and before daylight," also to "at any time lay or spread any net or snare, except in or upon any cultivated land, for the purpose of capturing or destroying any game," also to have in possession during the close season any " meat of game" which cannot be accounted for satisfactorily.

Any person shooting at, killing or capturing game without a license is liable to a fine of Rs.30 for each animal killed, plus three months' imprisonment. Shooting at night or spreading of nets or snares at any time, or transference of licenses may be punished by a fine of Rs.100, with three months' imprisonment added. Shooting in the close season or illegal possession of game-meat during that season involves a fine of Rs.50, plus three months' imprisonment. Informers may be paid half of all fines recovered under this Ordinance.

Elephants, buffaloes, deer, and peafowl trespassing on cultivated land may be shot without license, but information must be given at once to the nearest headman or police officer.

Ordinance No. 19 of 1869 requires every owner of any description of firearm or air gun to take out a license to possess and use it, which may be obtained of any Government Agent or Assistant Government Agent on payment of Rs.1.25 ; or 50 cents only if the license obtained for it by a former owner is produced. The penalties provided are a fine not exceeding Rs.20 and forfeiture of the unlicensed gun. Any headman, police officer or peace officer failing to inform against a person owning an unlicensed gun is liable to a fine not exceeding Rs.50 for each case. This Ordinance is likely to be superseded shortly by a new one.

Other Ordinances which are of interest to sportsmen are No. 18 of 1886, for "the Protection of Wild Birds," which is practically a dead letter, and No. 6 of 1893 for 44 the Protection of Introduced Birds, Beasts and Fishes."