Seeking to put at rest certain controversies pertaining to reports that the central government has allowed “killing” of animals to protect agricultural farms, new Environment Minister Anil Dave said “no such orders” have been given by the union government.
“I want to make it clear that neither centre has given any such orders to kill animals nor the states have asked for it,” Dave said replying to queries during question hour in the Lok Sabha.
However, he said wild boar, nilgai and monkeys have been placed in Schedule V of the Wild Life Protection Act that allows people to “drive them away” in specific areas.
Dave said Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh had requested to include “problematic wild animals” in schedule V in accordance with section 62 of the WildLife (Protection) Act 1972. Accordingly, nilgai has been placed in the category in 31 and wild boar in 10 districts of Bihar.
Wild boars have been placed in Schedule V in 13 districts of Uttarkhand for a year.
The order was issued in December 2015 for Bihar and in February 2016 for Uttarakhand, he said adding a similar order was issued for Shimla in March 2016 for six months where in a species of monkey (Rhesus Maccaque) was placed in the category.
Karnataka has also made requests for wild boars, he said.
Raising supplementary questions, Bangalore Rural MP D.K. Suresh (Congress) said: “Crop damage by wild boars is pushing farmers from bad to worst condition.”
He said the “menace of wild boars” is very high in the country. “Almost all the states, including Karnataka, are facing this problem,” he said.
Dave clarified that with certain animals brought under Schedule V of the Wildlife Act, the states now have the right “to drive the animal (away) with a stick”.
Last month, in a rare public spat over the culling of wild animals, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi had accused the then Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar of showing a “lust for killing animals”.
She also had charged that the Environment Ministry had allowed the slaughter of peacocks in Goa and elephants in West Bengal.
Javadekar, however, had said that the permissions to take action against animals were granted after requests from the states and were based on existing laws.