Heads of affected local bodies in Kerala may get magisterial powers to overcome wild boar menace

WIld Boar

Thrissur: Concerned over wild boar attacks on human settlements in various hilly areas in Kerala, the state government on Monday said it would soon issue orders to empower the heads of local bodies of the affected areas with magisterial powers to declare the animals as vermin and eliminate them.

State Forest Minister A K Saseendran said wild boar attacks are "rampant" in various hilly areas of Kerala and the next meeting of the state cabinet is expected to take a decision to provide magisterial powers to presidents of Gram Panchayats and chairman/chairpersons of municipalities in affected areas for declaring the animal as a vermin and shooting them.

Participating in various programmes of his ministry in Chalakkudy in the central Kerala district, the minister said the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government was trying to pass laws with the participation of people to protect their property and life from wildlife attacks.

He said the government intends to make decentralised security arrangements.

The Local Self Government institutions, the forest protection force and the MGNREGA workers should come together and form a defence force for protecting human life and property from wildlife attacks, Saseendran said.

"It is the responsibility of the government and the forest department to prevent wildlife from invading human settlements and causing damage to their life and crops", the minister said.

Earlier, the Union Environment Ministry had rejected Kerala government's request seeking permission to declare wild boar as a vermin, saying allowing the citizens to cull the animal will create more harm than good.

The Kerala High Court in July last year had permitted the killing of wild boars in agricultural land of a few farmers as the steps taken by the state government to curb the menace had not yielded any results.

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