Sell Cattle in 15 Days, Tribals Told
MYSURU: The forest department has served notices on tribals living in the core area (critical habitat) of Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) Tiger Reserve asking them to sell their cattle within 15 days.
Forest officials took this step to prevent entry of cattle and other domestic animals in the core area, which is a violation of the Wildlife Act. The department had banned animal sacrifice in and around the reserve, and now fears that grazing of cattle would pose a threat or spread cattle-borne diseases to wild animals.
The notice signed by RFO Prabhuswamy has been served at Mutthugadagadde Podu, Hosa Podu and Erasagadde Podu.
The notices have caused outrage among tribal community spread in nine hadis of BR Hills and also among those living in the forest ranges from Byallur to Punajanur.
Tribal leader Bommiah said the notices are against the provisions of the Forest Rights Act that entitles tribals to collect minor forest produce for their livelihood. “We are against this move and forest authorities may evict us in the future in the name of conservation of wildlife,” he alleged.
Honorary Wildlife Warden Malleshappa said grazing is banned in the core area. The department has issued notices to stop tribals from entering the reserve because of increase in goat population.
Conservator of Forests and director of BRT Lingaraju said they served the notices as grazing goats inside the core area is prohibited. “We will hold talks with the locals and convince them to cooperate in the interest of wildlife conservation.”