The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has given strict guidelines to the police, forest and enforcement agencies in the country not to reveal the monetary value of wildlife and the wildlife articles that are seized or recovered by the enforcement agencies.
The high price of wildlife articles made public through the media, is promoting more people to engage in wildlife crime activities, said the crime control wing.
According to an order given by Additional Director of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Shyam Bhagat Negi, the steps have been taken for the conservation of Indian wildlife which is increasingly coming under illegal trade.
“The illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife articles is demand driven and primarily for profits. Some of the habitual wildlife criminals during interrogation revealed that, they switched over to the trade from other criminal activities such as narcotics as the field has comparatively lower risk and higher profits.
Some first-time wildlife criminals had resorted to such offences after reading the reports about the high value of wildlife articles in newspapers.
The trend of quoting the international market price of the wildlife articles further promote poaching and illegal wildlife trade,” he said.
The direction therefore strictly prohibits similar practices by all the enforcement agencies in the country.
Press briefings on wildlife crime should highlight the endangered status of the species involved, its role in ecology and the adverse impact of its loss on the environment rather than its price in the Indian and international markets.
“If there is a system of rewards and citations based on the value of seized wildlife articles, then it should be amended soon for preventing such crimes.
“Contribution towards prevention, investigation and prosecution work related to wildlife crime and busting of organised wildlife criminal networks could be the basis for such rewards,” the new direction reads.