Why no vet present when ti­gress was shot, asks Maha vet­eri­nary coun­cil

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTMETRO - Badri Chat­ter­jee

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.

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