India is at war with its wildlife – Manu Balachandran

Indian boar (Sus scrofa cristatus), also known as the Andamanese pig or Moupin pig is a subspecies of wild boar native to India, Nepal, Burma, western Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Manu BalachandranIndia has faced man-animal conflict for decades. But the culling of these animals only reinforces the lack of a mechanism to address the issue. – Manu Balachandran

India is at war with its wildlife.

Over the past few months, authorities have declared, or sought to declare, as vermin an entire bunch of wild animals that are apparently in conflict with humans, particularly farmers.

According to new rules laid out by India’s environment ministry, headed by minister Prakash Javadekar, three wild animals—the nilgai, the wild boar, and the rhesus monkey—can now be killed in a few states. Prakash JavadekarThis is simply because these “vermin” damage crops. When an animal is declared vermin, its culling is allowed for a certain period.

The Indian government first issued a notification in Dec 2014 asking state governments for a list of animals they consider vermin. A year later, the ministry issued another notification that allowed wild boars and nilgai—or blue bull, Asia’s largest antelope—to be killed in the eastern state of Bihar. The state government claim that nilgais, whose numbers have grown exponentially of late, damage crops.

In February this year, it allowed Uttarakhand in India’s north to cull wild boars. A similar permission was given to neighbouring Himachal Pradesh in May for getting rid of monkeys. Two other states, Maharashtra and Gujarat are currently awaiting permission to kill nilgais.

Meanwhile, the western Indian state of Goa is studying a proposal to make the peacock a vermin, while West Bengal is seeking the environment ministry’s permission to capture wild elephants because they kill humans.

“When state governments write to us about farmers suffering due to crop damage by animals, then such permissions are given,” Javadekar said on June 10. “It is on the recommendation of state governments; also it’s an old law.”

India has faced man-animal conflict for decades. But the culling of these animals only reinforces the lack Rhesus Macaqueof a mechanism to address the issue.

“This is a ridiculous way of dealing with wildlife,” said Sreedhar Ramamurthi, an earth scientist and management trustee at Environics Trust, a non-profit in New Delhi. “There have been no scientific studies to understand their population growth or on how they are a hindrance to farmers or human life.”

The environment ministry’s plans have also come for strong criticism from the country’s child and women welfare minister, Maneka Gandhi, who is a vocal animal rights advocate.

“The environment ministry, suo motu, issued a letter asking states to come forward with proposals (to kill wild animals),” Gandhi said. “They then gave the go-ahead for killing elephants in West Bengal, wild boars in Uttarakhand, peacocks in Goa, nilgai in Bihar. I don’t understand this lust for killing.”

However, animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi has taken the environment ministry to court, arguing that the culling could create ecological imbalance. India’s supreme court is likely to hear the plea later this week.- Quartz, 16 June 2016

» Manu Balachandran is a writer for Quartz, based in New Delhi. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Cardiff University and is passionate about politics, policy, economics, business and Formula 1.

Nilgai (Blue Bull)

4 Responses

  1. India, unfortunately is following the wrong example of China, Korea and other countries who have a hate for animals and only see them as things to be exploited for profits. Why this is tolerated is incomprehensible. India has lost its moral compass and ideals; including the Hindus. Let’s be truthful. Its shameful that India leads in the slaughter of cows (for heaven’s sake!) and is a leading exporter of cow meat! Look at this closed petition. This is unacceptable. https://www.change.org/p/narendra-modi-al-kabeer-and-allana-abbatoir-in-hyderabad-break-several-rules-ban-cattle-slaughter.

    Hindus are failing their highest calling. Cruelty to animals and slaughter houses are unacceptable. India will have to reckon with their coming karma if they do not return to the dharmic principles of Ahimsa, especially to the most vulnerable. Eating animals belongs to the past. The new future is Vegan and not more factory farms, not more “mutton”, not more “eggs”, not more “dairy”, not more evil.

    Please do something, all people of conscience! Shut down your slaughter house exports to the evil stomachs of depraved people around the world. There is so many other valuable and worthy things that can be done to help humans, the animal kingdom and our environment. Plants, vegetables, grains, trees are our best friends. Don’t destroy the Earth and the plant kingdom with chemical farming. Grow up! No government is above the people. India is supposed to be a democracy. Unless Hindus; in the villages, in towns and in the cities realize that they themselves have fallen into depravity, into materialism and have hate for each other, India is going to become another China, Korea, Pakistan; and just like all the other terrible animal torture and animal consuming countries. Hindus must learn to care of each other, love one another (and others as well) and become stalwart examples of the TRUE DIVINE HUMANITY.

    Please do something! It doesn’t have to be this way!

  2. ” India has faced man-animal conflict for decades. But the culling of these animals only reinforces the lack of a mechanism to address the issue”

    the author is very right in saying so .

    other living beings have as much right to the planet as we have ;
    killing them is not at all the solution .

    it is just equivalent to a terrorist killing others ( because he has the brute force to kill others ) as he can not have peaceful coexistence with others ;

    let us search for a solution other than eliminating them physically ;

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