Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera stated the cabinet approved new regulations imposing tough conditions on owners of elephants.
This includes a ban on using young elephants for logging and other physical work, as part of a crackdown on cruelty to domesticated wild animals.The animals are also legally protected but are often subjected to cruel treatment by some owners.
Owners are banned from using working elephants below the age of 10 years while those under five years cannot be used in parades, even at religious festivals.
There are 41 new conditions aimed at ensuring minimum standards of care, including the daily diet that should include fresh fruit in addition to leaves and vegetables.
Owners must also take their elephants for daily walks of not less than five kilometres (three miles) and the animals must be allowed two and a half hours for bathing.
The minister is also seeking to regulate the use of elephants in movie productions.
Elephants cannot be made to fight each other on camera. Flash or floodlights cannot be shone on the animals and letting off firecrackers near them is also banned.
Those violating the new regulations could lose their ownership licence and face up to three years in jail.
The new laws come into force as the authorities investigate allegations that over 40 baby elephants had been stolen from national wildlife parks over the last decade and are being kept as pets.
Capturing wild elephants is illegal.
Official records show there are about 200 domesticated elephants in a country where the population in the wild is estimated at about 7,500.