CJI suggests softer options to deal with wild animals

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 7/31/2020 8:51:38 PM

NEW DELHI, July 30: The Supreme Court on Thursday suggested softer option to deal with wild animals, with the exception of man-eaters, who are in conflict with human beings or damage agriculture crops and fruit trees.
Asking for the solutions other than killing, Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde, heading a three judge bench, said killing wild-animals in conflict with humans is no solution. It issued notice to Bihar, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and other States on a public interest plea by Biju Janata Dal Lok Sabha member Anubhav Mohanty, seeking to curb the practice of encouraging and rewarding people who kill wild animals allegedly in conflict with humans.
His petition was tagged with an earlier matter seeking ban on the barbaric practice of the use of explosives and cracker filled fruits to ward off the elephants. One of the matters relates to elephant killing in Kerala by feeding them fruits with explosives.
Pointing to the softer options, Chief Justice Bobde, sitting with Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, called for use of explosives which scare away the wild-animals but don’t kill them and there are rubber bullets.
“We want you to examine the issue, because land of the animals inside the forest is being taken away by human beings. There is a pressure on the forests. We are aware of the phenomenon,” CJI Bobde said. He told senior counsel Siddharth Luthra to examine the softer option to deal with the problem of wild-animals intruding the human habitat without causing them any injury.
Luthra an old hand in matters relating to wildlife said the expansion of humans activities in forest areas reserved for wild-life was creating problems
Expressing their anxiety, CJI Bobde questioned 5o Blue Bulls being killed in a day. He said there is certainly pressure on the forests and the land meant for the wild-life was being encroached upon for human activities.
Mohanty in his petition has said that many state governments, including Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, have even financially incentivised the killing of wild animals such as Nilgai, Rhesus Macaque and wild Boar respectively.
The petition seeks “proactive, constructive and a scientific” way forward to mitigate human-wildlife conflict instead of encouraging citizens of the country to kill such wild animals. “Currently there are no proper guidelines in place for the purpose of dealing with man animal-conflict. This has led to the emergence of haphazard, unscientific and excessive policies being exercised by Central and State Governments," Mohanty says in his petition.



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