Kerala

State seek Centre’s nod to cull wild boars

The government has commenced steps to seek the Centre’s nod to declare wild boars as ‘vermin’ under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, to cull the animal.

The Chief Wildlife Warden has directed Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) to identify clusters or regions that have witnessed instances of man-animal conflict and extensive crop damage to enforce the provision and kill the boars en masse.

Forest Minister K. Raju said the Forest Department had struggled to rein in the menace of wild boars owing to the stringent provisions of the law. Nevertheless, the government had recently permitted their killing by forest officials and farmers possessing licensed guns, subject to a number of clauses.

While several wild boars had been killed by way of the order, their population continued to remain above worrying proportions, necessitating further steps to considerably bring down their number by declaring them as vermin. Large sections of the farming community had raised concern over the efficacy of the recent order, considering only few farmers possessed licenced guns.

Considering the unlikelihood of the Centre permitting the culling of boars across the State, the government had commenced steps to seek permission for clusters, mainly hilly and forest fringe areas, Mr. Raju said in a statement.

According to official statistics, the wild boar population had increased from 40,425 in 1997 to 60,940 in 2002, but slumped to 48,034 in 2011. However, the State was roughly estimated to be home to over 55,000 wild boars at present, sources said.

Besides permitting the culling of wild boars in certain States, the Centre has declared other animals, including nilgai (or blue bull) and rhesus macaque, as vermin for specific periods in the recent past.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 1:36:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/state-seek-centres-nod-to-cull-wild-boars/article32919432.ece

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