Maneka Gandhi opposes Kerala nod to local bodies to kill wild boars, guidelines soon

Maneka Gandhi opposes Kerala nod to local bodies to kill wild boars, guidelines soon

Thiruvananthapuram: Even as leading animal rights activist and politician Maneka Gandhi has opposed the Kerala government move to empower local bodies to kill wild boars, the Chief Wildlife Warden is set to frame guidelines on the issue that has agitated farmers in several parts of the State.

Maneka urged Kerala Forest Minister A K Saseendran to reconsider the decision as it would lead to the large-scale killing of wild boars, which are essential for ecological balance.

The BJP MP pointed to the critical role played by wild boars in forest regeneration

Meanwhile, the Chief Wildlife Warden will frame the guidelines after an order is issued on Wednesday's Cabinet decision to designate gram panchayat presidents, municipal chairpersons, and corporation mayors as honorary wildlife wardens, as per the Wildlife Act, and then empower them to kill wild boars that destroy crops.

The local bodies should employ those with gun licence for shooting down wild boars.

Though the power will be vested with the local bodies, the forest department would bring in strict regulations over executing it.

The forest department would collect the details of the local body representatives who currently have gun licences. It would be specifically checked whether any poaching cases have been filed against them. Even when the panchayat empanels those who have licences, approval would be given after carrying out a parallel probe.

Meanwhile, confusion prevails over disposing off the carcass after killing the wild boar. Though the decision is to follow a scientific method for burying the carcass, there is little clarity on this. One proposal is to bury the carcass in an eco-friendly manner. Legal advice could be sought on this.

The Kerala government move follows the Centre’s rejection of its request to declare wild boar as 'vermin' so that the public could do away with them without infringing on the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act.

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