The women and child development minister has lashed out at the environment ministry for its decision to legalise the killing of animals in animal-human conflict areas.
Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi has lashed out at the environment ministry following the latter’s submission of a report seeking to legalise the killing of certain wild animals that are found in excess in animal-human conflict areas. Opposing this “lust killing”, Maneka claimed that it is the first time that an environment ministry has given such orders.
The environment ministry had earlier said that due to the impact of the man-animal conflict on crops it had sought reports from states to declare as vermin certain over-populated animals for a certain period of time. Those species of animals that would been declared as vermin could then be hunted without any restriction.
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar had said farmers were facing huge problems due to animals and that this step was taken to resolve the issue. He also said the ministry was awaiting responses from the states on the report.
If implemented, the order is bound to apply to wild animals listed under the various Schedules of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Javadekar has said that the provisions to declare wild animals as problem animals already existed within the Act.
Gandhi, an animal rights activist, was left outraged after the recent killing of nilgai (blue bulls) in Bihar. In reaction to the environment ministry’s report, she said, “I don’t understand this lust for killing animals”.
Gandhi further stated that the killing of animals had been going on in Bihar, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Goa, and that the Centre had allowed for these killings even when the states declined to do so. Javadekar, however, insisted that the proposed order is as per the existing law and that it is not a program of the central government.
(With inputs from PTI)