ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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'Problem Animals' Are Not the Real Problem

The government proposal on culling treats only the symptom; the problem is of a declining animal habitat.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is planning to allow the hunting of animals which it deems as vermin. In December last year, the ministry had issued a circular that proposed legalising hunting of “problem animals.” Going by the Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar’s recent statements, implementing this circular seems to be one of the more enthusiastic pursuits of an otherwise somnolent ministry. In his most recent statement on the issue, Javadekar said that the ministry will go ahead with the hunting permission as soon as it gets a response from the states.

The minister has hinted that blue bulls (nilgais) and wild boars would be the likely targets of this vermin extermination programme. The animals are currently slotted under Schedule III of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Hunting them attracts a fine, but the offence is not deemed as serious as, say, hunting a blackbuck—an endangered species. Javadekar has cited Section 62 of the act in support of his plan. The section allows the centre to declare animals, other than rare and endangered species, as vermin.

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