IN SCHOOL

No place for animals

A female blue bull (Nilgai), which strayed into high security Vijay Chowk area in New Delhi, being captured by Wildlife SoS members.Photo: V. Sudershan

A female blue bull (Nilgai), which strayed into high security Vijay Chowk area in New Delhi, being captured by Wildlife SoS members.Photo: V. Sudershan  

Is killing of vermin a long-term solution to human-wildlife conflict?

In the last six months, the Union government has approved the culling of blue bull or nilgai in Bihar, wild boars in Uttarakhand and Rhesus Macaque monkeys monkeys in Himachal Pradesh, declaring these animals as vermin. The government has also asked the States to send in a list of animals to be declared as vermin.

These decisions have come under sharp criticism from environmentalists and activists.

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, last week, slammed the Environment Ministry for carrying out state-mandated killing of a large number of protected wild animals in several parts of the country.

She also attacked the proposals to list elephants in West Bengal, deer in Bihar and peacocks in Goa as vermin.

The environment ministry officials, however, insisted that proposals were approved as per the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act. In his reply, Minister of Environment and Forest Prakash Javadekar said that as per the law, the government must help the farmers whose crops get ruined. The decisions are taken keeping scientific facts in mind, he added.

Keeping the farmers plight above the life of animals, the government misses to see the large picture. Why does an animal wander into the human space, if it had had a place for itself? Why should it encroach and feed on human food, if its food had not been lost? Cutting down of forests and killing of animals – all acts of humans – have left the wild animals with no option but to get into conflict with humans.

According to a report, documents verified under Right To Information (RTI) filed by Prevention of Cruelty to Animals show that clearance for culling of animals were taken without any scientific study.







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