Liv­ing in de­nial

Down to Earth - - COVER STORY -

TheUnio­nen­vi­ron­ment­min­istryre­fuses­tode­clare mon­keysasver­min THE MIN­ISTRY of En­vi­ron­ment, Forests and Cli­mate Change (MoEF&CC) is­sued a no­ti­fi­ca­tion in De­cem­ber, 2014, seek­ing opin­ion from states on the men­ace caused by nil­gais or blue bulls and wild boars. Fol­low­ing the di­rec­tions from the MoEF&CC, Ut­tarak­hand de­clared cer­tain species of nil­gai and wild boar as ver­min. Al­though both the an­i­mal species are pro­tected un­der sched­ules 2 and 3 of the Wild Life Pro­tec­tion Act, state gov­ern­ments can now al­low culling of th­ese an­i­mals. The no­ti­fi­ca­tion says that in some cases, the an­i­mals can be also be moved from sched­ule 2 to sched­ule 5 of the Wild Life Pro­tec­tion Act, which in­cludes rats, crows and rab­bits that are usu­ally con­sid­ered pests. Ac­cord­ing to for­est of­fi­cials, the dif­fer­ence be­tween ver­min and nui­sance is that ver­min an­i­mals can be killed by any­body, while nui­sance an­i­mals can only be killed by the state for­est depart­ment. The en­vi­ron­ment min­istry in March 2014 re­jected a pro­posal by the Hi­machal Pradesh gov­ern­ment to de­clare mon­keys ver­min. The min­istry, in­stead, asked the state to sci­en­tif­i­cally iden­tify the ar­eas where mon­keys were wreak­ing havoc.

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