Kerala minister Saseendran’s plan to end man-wildlife conflict could spark outrage
The national animal is placed in Schedule I of the Act. As per the National Tiger Conservation Authority guidelines, killing of aberrant tigers is permitted only as a last resort, they said.
Published: 18th January 2023 07:25 AM | Last Updated: 18th January 2023 07:25 AM | A+A A-
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In what could spark nationwide outrage, Forest Minister A K Saseendran has made a bizarre statement that the government is planning culling of tigers in Wayanad to contain the threat to human lives posed by the reported overpopulation of the big cat.“The government is contemplating moving the Supreme Court for permission to cull tigers,” he told TNIE on Tuesday.
“Though the department considered population control of tigers through sterilisation, experts have opined that it’s not possible. So, Kerala is contemplating moving the top court,” he said. However, environmental activists pointed out that killing tigers is prohibited under the Wildlife (Protection) Act (WPA) unless it is declared a man-eater.
The national animal is placed in Schedule I of the Act. As per the National Tiger Conservation Authority guidelines, killing of aberrant tigers is permitted only as a last resort, they said. “Killing a maneater and culling are two different things,” said an activist.As for population control, forest officials expressed doubts on the practicality of capturing and sterilising a fully-grown tiger.
Meanwhile, the forest department has already decided to move some of the tigers in Wayanad to the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Thekkady. Moving them to Parambikulam tiger reserve is also under consideration, Saseendran said.
Culling of tigers was proposed at a high-level meeting held to discuss the attacks in Wayanad. Though culling of wild animals, especially the ones in WPA schedules, is not allowed, the meeting decided to explore all possible options.
Saseendran said West Bengal had passed a legislation to cull tigers in 2012. “However, an NGO moved the SC, which stayed the law in 2014. Kerala was a party in it. Until now, none has filed a review petition or sought lifting of the stay,” he said.