Supreme Court issues notice to Centre, States on barbarity in killing wild animals

A file photo of elephants and mahouts paying tribute to the pregnant elephant.

A file photo of elephants and mahouts paying tribute to the pregnant elephant.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Supreme Court on Friday took cognisance of the death of a pregnant elephant in May from eating pineapples filled with fire crackers by villagers in Kerala as a new low in man-animal conflict episodes across the country.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde sought a response from the Centre, Kerala and other States about the increasing levels of barbarity witnessed in trapping and killing wild animals straying into human habitation.

Standard operating procedures

The court issued notice on a petition filed by Shubham Awasthi, represented by advocate Vivek Narayan Sharma, who urged the court to issue guidelines to the government for creation of Standard Operating Procedures to tackle cruelty shown by villagers desperate to save their crops and livelihood from the animals.

The petition also pointed out that the forest service is riddled with a large number of vacancies, making their presence ineffective. They are hardly able to patrol the large swathes of forest land or play a role in wildlife conservation.

There is hardly any scientific practices evolved to lessen man-animal conflicts.

The petition sought declaration of the “practice of using barbaric means/snares/shaved sticks/explosives to ward off wild animals as illegal, unconstitutional, and violative of Articles 14, and 21 of the Constitution.”

Besides Kerala, other States which are made party in the petition include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.

Mr. Awasthi said the incident which happened in Kerala and hundreds of incidents like it were waiting to unfold in various parts of the country due to the dubious practice of using snares to scare wild animals.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 6:04:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/supreme-court-issues-notice-to-centre-states-on-barbarity-in-killing-wild-animals/article32046768.ece

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