BNHS against use of wildlife for religious and cultural practices

In response to a recent change suggested in the draft wildlife policy on distinction between hunting and use of wildlife for cultural practices, the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), along with other NGOs, has sent a letter to the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) seeking to drop the new clause.

The suggestion allows “use of wild species for religious and cultural practices.” In order to avoid confrontation between enforcement authorities and communities, the draft suggests distinction between hunting and use for religious/cultural practices, with appropriate safeguards and cruelty prevention regulations.

The BNHS, in association with Aaranyak, Wildlife Protection Society of India, TRAFFIC-India and Wildlife Society of Orissa, has written a letter to the MoEF&CC urging it to reject this suggestion.

The letter, written last month, has raised several concerns and pointed out that the draft policy will contradict the spirit of the Constitution in terms of ethics and safeguarding the natural wealth of the country.

“Controlled killing of animals has historically fuelled poaching and black markets of wildlife products. This will encourage the existing black market of several threatened species protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act,” says the letter. “Many threatened species such as owls and pangolins are nocturnal and hence difficult to monitor and protect. The new suggestion will create loopholes in the protection laws.”

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 3:24:39 PM |

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