Mumbai

One year after Avni’s death, Centre revises guidelines

Rest in peace: Personnel of Gorewada Rescue Centre, Nagpur, stand near the carcass of Avni at a post-mortem room on November 3, 2018. The tigress was shot dead on November 2.

Rest in peace: Personnel of Gorewada Rescue Centre, Nagpur, stand near the carcass of Avni at a post-mortem room on November 3, 2018. The tigress was shot dead on November 2.  

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‘Man-eater’ replaced with ‘animal dangerous to human life’; veterinarians now have more responsibility

Over a year after T1, popularly known as Avni the tigress, was shot dead by father-son — Shafat Ali Khan and Asghar Ali — who were ‘prima facie guilty of unauthorised shooting’, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has come out with a revised standard operating procedure (SOP) for dealing with a similar situation.

The communication dated November 11 chalks out the revised ‘SOP to deal with emergency arising due to straying of tigers in human-dominated landscapes.’ It has made several replaces in the course of action and said “usually a time lapse of 10-15 minutes should be given prior to taking any further action on the darted animal as the induction time varies based on physiological status of the animal, which should be left to the judgement of the veterinarian present in the team.”

The word, ‘man-eater’, has been replaced with ‘animal dangerous to human life’. The guidelines said, “After ‘declaring’ the animal dangerous to human life, its elimination should be done by forest department personnel having the desired proficiency, while the fire arm should be of the appropriate bore size. In case, such expertise is not available within the department, an expert may be co-opted from other government departments.”

Veterinarians welcomed the revised SOP.

Dr. Prayag Hodigere Siddalingappa said, “More responsibility has been given to vets. Earlier, non-vets were used to capture an animal. Now, it is clear that it should be done by a qualified vet proficient in anaesthesia.”

He also said, “A vet from tiger reserve will be a member of the committee of National Tiger Conservation Authority and there is a provision of one more vet having wildlife experience as a member.” He said this SOP is more refined and a good development.

Dr. Sunil Bavaskar said the new guidelines will help in protection of wildlife. “It will also help the forest department conduct rescue operations scientifically.”

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:05:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/one-year-after-avnis-death-centre-revises-guidelines/article29966579.ece

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