KOCHI: The video of a man shooting a wild pig and a piglet in Idukki in front of the public and forest officers has triggered an outrage. Though the state government has authorised presidents of grama panchayats to grant permission for culling wild pigs that are destroying crops, animal rights activists claimed that such killings violate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
The 1.38-minute viral video from the Pushpagiri ward of Kamakshy panchayat shows the female pig and piglet with their legs ensnared in a wire. An elderly man is seen shooting the female first and then the piglet – both at close range – as a group of local residents and forest officers watch.
Panchayat president Anumol Jose said the incident occurred on October 22.
“I granted the permission, for the first time ever, to shoot the wild pig as farmers have been clamouring for steps to save them from their menace. The livelihood of farmers has been affected as wild pigs and monkeys are destroying crops. The panchayat permitted Joseph, who possesses a gun licence, to shoot the pigs,” Anumol said.
However, animal rights activist M N Jayachandran said the Centre had refused to declare wild pigs in Kerala as vermin despite repeated pleas from the state government.
“Though the state government has permitted panchayat presidents to allow culling of wild pigs by licensed shooters, it is illegal. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act doesn’t even allow culling of stray dogs. Canines can be killed only if they are critically injured or suffer from incurable diseases,” he said, adding that they were planning to move court seeking to ban culling of wild pigs.
Ayyappankovil forest range officer S Kannan said the incident occurred around 2 km away from the forest boundary. “Though our officers were present at the spot, they could not intervene as the state has allowed culling of wild pigs. We will check whether there has been any violation,” he said.