CHENNAI: Amid the growing rate of man-animal conflicts in the State, exasperated farmers residing in and around forest areas resort to pesticide-poisoning to eliminate predators like tigers and leopards, which threaten to prey upon their cattle.
“When a tiger or a leopard repeatedly kills livestock in an area, sometimes people take the law into their own hands and poison the predators with easily available pesticides,” said wildlife film-maker Shekar Dattatri.
K Kalidasan, president of Osai, an environment NGO, said locals are pushed to take the extreme step as they aren’t properly compensated when their cattle is killed by the predators. “The compensation provided to villagers is much less than the market rate,” he said. Moreover, the bureaucratic process to claim and receive compensation is cumbersome and time consuming, Dattatri added.
S A Chinnaswamy, president of the Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam, said a few farmers resort to extreme steps to prevent crop loss from wild boars – out of desperation.
“Local people should be made to understand that retaliatory killing is a serious, punishable offence. There should be quick inspection of a reported cattle kill and swift compensation with a fair value paid for the livestock,” Dattatri said, while Kalidasan said awareness programmes should be conducted in villages.