Farmers seek solution for human-animal conflict

Members of farmers’ association have written to the Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Jayanthi Natarajan, to have a relook at issues concerning human-animal conflict. In their letter, association members V. Balasubramaniam and P. Kandasamy have said that the Minister, as the chairperson of the first zonal conference on animal welfare, should hear the farmers, experts in animal welfare and others before arriving at a decision.

Citing instances of wild boars venturing out of forest areas and destroying crops and cattle, he said that any attempt to chase away wild boars or action against them attracted sections of the Wildlife Protection Act. The Central Government should amend the laws in such a way that the farmers who initiated defensive action to protect their crops or cattle against wild boards or other animals were not booked under the provisions of the Act.

In short, Wildlife Protection Act should not apply to wild boars or animals if they ventured out of the forests. And, they also sought shifting of wild boars from Schedule III to Schedule VI of the Act.

The farmers said that while it was welcome that the Government allocated funds for protection of elephants, tigers and other wild animals, it should also look at compensating the loss of those who suffered damage to property because of the animals. It should create a separate wing to handle such cases.

Under the schemes formulated to protect and conserve animals like tigers, the Government should also take steps to ensure that the animals did not venture out of forest. Another issue the farmers had raised was the quantum of compensation to those who suffered crop or cattle loss. The maximum compensation was Rs. 25,000. This did not reflect reality as sometimes the loss ran into a couple of lakhs. They also sought strict action against those who encroach upon elephant corridors.

‘Wildlife Protection Act should not apply to wild animals if they ventured out of the forests’

Farmers seek strict action against those who encroach upon elephant corridors

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