The central government has been encouraging states over the past few months to propose wild animal species as vermin, which allows for them to be hunted! Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar have got clearances from central government to cull select species while culling has begun in Maharashtra and Telangana on state government decisions. There are other states eager to follow suit.
FIAPO has moved Supreme Court to oppose these notifications. In addition, uniting over 100 NGOs, FIAPO have been opposing MoEFCC’s unbated killing of wild animals. FIAPO has filed RTIs across the country, and earlier this year, litigated in Telenagana to oppose the culling order. In other areas we are helping animal protection organizations to partner with the Govt. to come up with alternative solutions to culling.
FIAPO is against killing animals for any reason whatsoever. It is encumbent on farmers to protect their own crops with fencing and other deterrents. It is not the right of humans to kill animals who are looking for food. When we take animals’ land for human food production we must provide alternative food sources, or protect food sources so that the animal populations will grow and shrink on the basis of food availability
What is the situation on ground?
- Lack of clarity on permissions issued (including area, duration and drivers which led to the decisions)
- Blanket decisions being taken without sufficient information and knowledge
- Lack of monitoring once culling is permitted. Risk of people hunting more than sanctioned numbers and hunting other species is high
- Instances of individuals being invited and paid to hunt
Has the press covered this?
Yes, one link each from high-priority states placed below. Should you want to look up more links that we have collated – on the scenario in the states – do write to us firstname.lastname@example.org
What does the Wildlife Protection Act state?
- Section 62
The Central Government may by notification, declare any wild animal other than those specified in Sch. I and part 11 of Sch H to be vermin for any area and for such period as may be specified therein and so long as such notification is in force, such wild animal shall be deemed to have been included in Sch.V.
- Section 11(1)
A. The Chief Wildlife Warden may, if he is satisfied that any wild animal specified in Sch. 1 has become dangerous to human life or is so disabled or diseased as to be beyond recovery, by order in writing and stating the reasons therefor, permit any person to hunt such animal or cause animal to be hunted.
B. The Chief Wildlife Warden or the authorised officer may, if he is satisfied that any wild animal specified in Sch. II Sch, III or Sch. IV has become dangerous to human life or to property (including standing crops on any land) or is so disabled or diseased as to be beyond recovery, by order in writing and stating the reasons therefor, permit any person to hunt such animal or cause such animal to be hunted.
Has the MOEFCC given recommendations? Can we access them?
Yes. The MOEFCC has brought out advisories.
- The advisory brought out during December 2014 is available here
- The advisory brought out during June is available here and here
What can we do in our states?
- Create awareness using social media, writing articles in newspapers and exploring other avenues your state offers
- Write to and meet the CWW
- Try to understand the situation on ground in our and share with others including with FIAPO
Are there alternatives?
Some ‘no kill’ solutions include – application of bio-pesticides with a mixture of cow urine, neem and dry chilli kept airtight for 40 days for controlling the blue bull menace; use of paraffin base and organic sources in keeping blue bulls away from fields. Jatropha plantation too has been suggested as a very effective way.
Can we get contact details of CWWs?
Yes. The phone numbers, email ids and addresses for CWWs are available here.
Can I refer to a sample text of the letter to be sent to CWW before writing?
Yes. A draft letter placed below. Please feel free to use it. A gentle request to please share a copy with us at email@example.com. This will allow us to collate them and put them to use for further lobbying.
Dear Madam / Sir,
This is to express our being extremely distressed over the rising trend of declaring species of wild animals such as Wild Boars and Nilgai as vermin.
We write to you from the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO). A national level federation with over 60 members and more than 200 supporting organizations FIAPO is active in areas of education, research, lobbying, mobilization, training and direct action.
We understand these blanket orders to cull are neither based on structured information nor are there systems in place to monitor them. In other words one may end up shooting species that are not allowed under the order and / or more number than allowed of the permitted species. If people take to trapping than probability of endangering other species is high.
Besides such blanket bans also hold the potential to disrupt the ecological cycle and landscape level conservation planning including that of conserving priority wildlife movement corridors.
We agree with you that this is a complex situation which warrants attention and time. Toward this we reiterate the need to:
- Explore and support non-invasive methods of reducing conflict. Some of these including alternative method of crop-protection have been put forth by MOEFCC itself in its advisories.
- Gather structured information on the topic. One that leads to a better understanding of the subject, beginning with priority locations. This could include factors like ecology of the species in conflict, changing land-use (including cropping) patterns, changing carnivore populations, efficacy of compensation schemes and changes in status of village common lands.
We urge you to involve the respective State Animal Welfare Boards and State Boards for Wildlife in arriving at specific action plans for conflict mitigation in your state. We look forward to working with your progressive government to address this issue in a holistic manner.