Why no vet present when tigress was shot, asks Maha veterinary council
MUMBAI:THE Maharashtra State Veterinary Council (MSVC) has asked why a veterinarian was not present when the tigress T1 was shot dead on November 2 in Yavatmal. This comes a day after the Veterinary Council of India (VCI), a statutory body under the Union agriculture ministry, issued a notice to the registrar of MSVC in Nagpur on Friday, to examine inconsistencies and alleged violations of veterinary laws when T1 was shot and killed by a private hunter.
Dr Shirish Chitte, registrar of MSVC, told HT that the council will “initiate a detailed investigation into the alleged lapses that the forest department has not been able to prove.” “We will also study the tiger’s preliminary post-mortem report. Based on the inquiry, a report will be submitted to VCI and the environment ministry within eight to
10 days,” said Dr. Chitte.
Two committees have already been set up by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Maharashtra government respectively, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the killing of T1. Neither committee has a veterinarian among its members. “If the subject of this entire investigation is a tiger, it is impossible to come to conclusions without veterinary
officers. It is imperative that MSVC appoints expert vets from across the country and that will be the only relevant report,” said Gauri Maulekhi, trustee of People for Animals, a non-profit organisation founded by Union minister Maneka Gandhi.
HT had reported on Thursday that the National Veterinary Doctors’ Association had served a similar notice to Maharashtra’s principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife), for the breach of the Indian Veterinary Council Act, 1984. VCI said they issued the notice to MSVC after taking cognisance of that letter and Gandhi’s criticism of how T1 was killed.
“The state council needs to take action against forest officers who were in violation of the Indian Veterinary Council Act, 1984 and Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 as only a registered veterinary practitioner could have tranquillised T1, not a hired hunter,” said a senior VCI official.
AK Misra, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) said he had not seen any of the notices. “We have not been able to read any notices from any of the councils yet since we have been on field and all our efforts are to capture T1’s cubs,” said Misra. He also said that there was no need for “debate” since two committees are already investigating the incident.