Petition Closed
Petitioning Chairman, AWBI Dr. R.M. Khareb and 12 others

STOP culling of wild monkey, boars and blue bulls in India - Naresh Kadyan


The Himachal Pradesh government has backed a farmer outfit's plan to shoot monkeys and other animals on sight in order to prevent damage to crops. Kheti Bachao Sangarsh Samiti (KBSS) encouraged the farmers to apply to conservators of forests and divisional forest officers for permits allowing the mass shooting of monkeys, but also wild boars and blue bulls. Their goal was to secure 10,000 permits by December 9, and so far they claim to have obtained 3,000. "Operation Monkey" started on Dec. 10 and will end on Dec. 23, so there is still time to prevent more shootings.

Campaign of Forest Department failed in the initial stage as local people refuse their cooperation saying it was a ‘futile exercise’ and not solution of their problem. Office bearers of Kheti Bachao Samiti, organizers of campaign even does not favour this action. ‘Don’t hurt religious feeling’, says Panchyati Raj Representatives. Environmentalists say firing in the forest would disturb wild life in the area.

NAHAN JULY: Local residents of Renuka area have not welcomed the action of state Forest Department launched in collaboration with the Kheti Bachao Sanghrash Samiti [KBSS] of Himachal Pradesh for the ‘scientific culling’of simians in 15 Panlchyats of Sangrah Development Block. People say that it was not the solution of their severe problem of monkey menace which has put the whole agriculture in the deep crises and residents were fighting to earn their two ends despite having enough agriculture land.

Putting a question mark on the prospects of the ‘culling campaign’ in its beginning, people of the area have reacted sharply and expressed their concern over the firing in the nearby forests by the people not known to them. They said that even firing on monkeys was taking place during late evening and night hours. They say that if in the evening hours monkeys were fired at they do not run away and hide in the same hideout, they call such killings as ‘unscientific killings’. A large number of residents of Sangrah Block contacted by this correspondent expressed surprise over this operation by ‘totally untrained people and forest staff’, who even does not know difference between ‘Scientific Culling’ and ‘Unscientific Killing’, they say.

Residents says that now a days the crop of Maize was still to bear fruit, monkeys were not very oftenly seen in the fields, shooters were entering the forests, most of them reserve forests to kill the monkeys. People questions as how shooting in the reserve forests was going on. Common people were quite unaware as what was going on in the nearby forests as villagers alleged that they were not being taken into the confidence about the firing schedule, they fear that in such circumstances any mishap may occur. People also alleged that the campaign had hurt their religious feelings as they see Monkey as Hanuman and oppose their killing.

 

Mr Mordhwaj, President of Chokar Panchyat where monkey killing campaign was organized on 16th of July do not favour this campaign as he feels that it was an ‘futile exercise’ and not solution of the problem. He told this correspondent that this campaign had created an unnecessary fear and sense of insecurity among the farmers of the area as after firing take place in forests of one Panchyat the groups of Monkeys were shifting to other nearby villages. He questioned that ‘how by killing 20-30 monkeys out of thousands you may claim that crises were over’. He cautioned that the campaign had gathered sharp reactions from the religious people of the area. He commented that ‘one should not forget that Renuka area had been birth place of Lord Parshuram and place of meditation of great Sages, Sapta Rishis including Godess Renuka Ji, people here were totally religious and do not tolerate killing simians’. Government should lift ban on the export of the monkeys, it would provide permanent solution of the problem without hurting the religious feeling of the residents, Mordhwaj demanded.

Reacting sharply to the campaign Mr. Deep Ram, President of Gram Panchyat Deed Panar has totally opposed killing monkeys as he says it was not solution of the monkey menace faced by the farmers and hurt religious feeling of the resident. He also opposed firing in the forest area as it would created ‘great disturbances’ to the wild animals who may run to some other hide outs from their traditional areas and may lost their lives in the process. He along with Ram Singh a farmer of Kotla Molar Panchyat and Kamal Kumar, a teacher of Badon village and environment lover also favours export of monkeys as permanent solution of the problem.

Mr. Deep Ram Sharma, former President of Bhalona Panchyat in Sangrah development block question ‘Scientific Culling’ process by saying that this process was fit where the animals were in hundreds but to kill tens of thousands of Monkeys this process dose not work. Such ‘Paper Campaign’ were drafted by the people who just work on files and totally ignorant about the ‘ground realities’, he commented.

The campaign under fire was launched in the Sangrah Development Block in the first phase on 14th of this month. The campaign had been planned for the entire state as per sources. According to Mr. Virender Kapoor, State Joint Secretary of Gyan Vigyan Samiti under which KBSS works, during past four days more than 20 monkeys have been killed in the Shamra, Bhutli Manal and Chokar Panchyats of the area by a team of local shooter who were provided with ammunition by the Forest Department. He said that forest department had distributed ammunition of 25 fire shots to each of these Panchyats for killing of monkeys.

He said that decision for launching this campaign in the rest of 15 Panchyats of the Nohra Sub Tehsil would be taken in the next meeting of KBSS convened on 18th of July at Bogdhar village. He said that around six shooters of the area having their licensed guns were provided the ammunition and they were going in the forests and fields of the area along with the one or two forest officials for carrying out the ‘culling’ campaign. He added that on the evening inaugural day of the campaign a demo of monkey killing was held in the presence of Additional Principal Chief Conservator and Wild Life Warden of H.P. Mr. Vinay Tondon near Nohra Dhar and three simian were killed at that time.

Mr. Kapoor however made it clear that Gyan Vigyan Samiti does not support such campaign ‘as it was no solution of the crises faced by the farmers of Himachal Pradesh’. He said that such campaign may cause human casualties and chaos among the residents residing close to forest areas. He demanded that government should open export of Monkeys inspite doing such ‘futile exercises’. He urged the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh that to save the agriculture of the state from the simians, government should give a serious thought to this problem and take bold decision.

Mr. Omprakash, spokesman of KBSS and incharge of this campaign told this correspondent that KBSS was not in favour of Scientific Culling campaign launched by the forest department in collaboration of his association but keeping in view larger interests of the farmers of the area his association had extended support to this campaign, although they were firm on this view that it was not the solution of the problem. He demanded that such campaign be implemented by the forest department itself through trained staff and by taking local people into the confidence. He said that by issuing an notification on the 4th of this month state government had allowed killing of monkeys. He however repeated demands of his organization to lift ban on the export of Monkeys, to launch sterilization campaign and to create a century for monkeys in the state. He said that KBSS had received application from 180 farmers demanding ammunition for killing monkeys. He warned government that ‘it may prove a dangerous trend as if thousands of farmers would enter forests with their fire arms in the state any thing may happen and it may pose a threat to the law and order also’.

HYDERABAD: Buckling under pressure from farmer lobbies, the chief wildlife warden (CWW) has authorized divisional forest officers (DFOs) to kill the wild boar, a commonly found animal in the wild that is accused of destroying crops.

The permission granted last week is perhaps the first of its kind in AP for culling a wild animal. The order issued by CWW also says that the DFOs could assign the job of culling wild boars to hunters and others. Though the CWW has put certain conditions for the killing of the animal, wildlife experts believe that since the authorization is for the entire state and transferable to hunters, the possibility of its misuse becomes huge.

A wild boar which belongs to the Suidae biological family, that also includes domestic pigs, is known for rampaging agricultural and horticultural crops. In some cases, the animal has also attacked and killed humans. The nocturnal animal roves in groups of about 20 and with its pair of sharp extended canines could dig up ground to extract tubers and roots. It mostly eats nuts, berries, carrion, refuse, insects, small reptiles, etc. The districts of Chittoor, Anantapur, Kurnool, Adilabad, Mahbubnagar, East Godavari and West Godavari are affected by wild boar forays. Farmers have been killing wild boars by setting up snares and fencing of fields by live electrical wires.

According to sources, reports of crop damage by wild boars first came from Chittoor, the home district of minister for forest and environment Ramchandra Reddy, about six months ago. It was claimed that the wild boars have eaten away nearly two third of the groundnut seedlings in the district. The Chittoor district DFO was given permission to deal suitably to what was termed as wild boar menace. Soon after, the CWW was told that the problem is not restricted to Chittoor alone and he should therefore include the entire state in his order. Faced with an unprecedented situation, CWW Hitesh Malhotra reportedly sought direction from the government which quickly responded that since the problem is widespread he should give orders to all his field officers to cull the animal.

According to wildlife experts, the order should not have been so sweeping in nature. The government should have asked the department to deal with the wild boar problem on a case-by-case basis. There are certain districts from where no complaint of wild boar attack has been reported. Though the CWW has struck a few notes of caution in his orders such as the presence of a range officer during the culling of the animal by hunters, declaring the dead animal property of the government and burying the body three feet under the ground, experts believe that such guidelines are not practical. The DFO would not be able to spare a range officer (RO) on every wild boar hunting expedition and even if the RO is assigned the job he would not be able to keep a tab on the hunters. The hunters could be killing many animals but claiming that they have hunted only a few of them.

Experts believe that the permission would lead to massacre of wild boars. However, defending the decision a forest department officer said that it has been given only on an experimental basis. The forest department would review the situation next year and decide the future course of action. But it is anybody's guess how many wild boars will be gone for ever till then.

 

Letter to
Chairman, AWBI Dr. R.M. Khareb
Prime Minister of India, New Delhi. Hon'ble Sardar Manmohan Singh
Rep of OIPA in India
and 10 others
Chief Minister, HP
Vice President of India, New Delhi Hon'ble Shri M. Hamid Ansari
The President of India, New Delhi
Speaker Lok Sabha Smt. Meira Kumar
THE CHIEF JUSTICE, HP High Court HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE KURIAN JOSEPH
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Kiran Kumar Reddy
The Director, AWD
The Governor of HP Her Excellency Shrimati Urmila Singh
Member Secretary, CZA
Union Minister for Environment and Forest Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan
I was horrified to learn about the plans instigated by Kheti Bachao Sangarsh Samiti, for farmers to cull monkeys and other animals between December 10-23 as a means of preventing further damage to crops.

The human-monkey conflict has been an issue for some time, however nothing justifies resorting to culling as a solution. The increased monkey population in urban regions is a direct result of human activities. Their habitat has diminished by receding forest coverage through intensive agriculture and horticulture, grazing, logging and timber extraction, construction of transportation routes and large dams, and other human disturbances. With their natural habitat disappearing due to this human activity, and with the isolation of the remaining forest areas, the animals are forced to acquire new habitats in urban areas. Although this situation has an impact on the livelihood of farmers, it is important to remember that the damage on crops is a result of scarcity of food. This problem is entirely man-made, and instead of punishing the victims, it is the responsibility of the government to handle this situation in an ethical manner. The rhesus monkeys, for example, are highly valued by both locals and pilgrims to the area, due to their sacred status. Such religious beliefs are important for the conservation of rhesus monkeys. I understand that the government has already undertaken a number of measures to limit the impact of the increased monkey population in urban regions, nevertheless more emphasis should be put on the humane and ethical management of the monkey population.

The immediate problem should be dealt with by focusing on sterilization schemes, as has been previously adopted, by maintaining a prohibition on the feeding of monkeys in public places and instead increasing food bases in forests, for example by encouraging villagers to plant wild fruit trees in nearby forests. More schemes of translocation could be introduced, by annually translocating the animals from the vicinity of villages and towns to forests similar to their natural habitat. For a long-term management, the government must focus on preserving environment and forests for wildlife by dealing with and preventing further forest destruction and creating sanctuaries and national parks/habitats. I strongly reject the proposal to sell the primates to research laboratories.

I respectfully ask that you intervene and stop the barbaric cull of these animals. The conservation of non-human primates and other wild animals requires an ethical approach of coexistence. The government must work on finding an optimal management strategy that does not include a wildlife cull.
HYDERABAD: Buckling under pressure from farmer lobbies, the chief wildlife warden (CWW) has authorized divisional forest officers (DFOs) to kill the wild boar, a commonly found animal in the wild that is accused of destroying crops.

The permission granted last week is perhaps the first of its kind in AP for culling a wild animal. The order issued by CWW also says that the DFOs could assign the job of culling wild boars to hunters and others. Though the CWW has put certain conditions for the killing of the animal, wildlife experts believe that since the authorization is for the entire state and transferable to hunters, the possibility of its misuse becomes huge.

A wild boar which belongs to the Suidae biological family, that also includes domestic pigs, is known for rampaging agricultural and horticultural crops. In some cases, the animal has also attacked and killed humans. The nocturnal animal roves in groups of about 20 and with its pair of sharp extended canines could dig up ground to extract tubers and roots. It mostly eats nuts, berries, carrion, refuse, insects, small reptiles, etc. The districts of Chittoor, Anantapur, Kurnool, Adilabad, Mahbubnagar, East Godavari and West Godavari are affected by wild boar forays. Farmers have been killing wild boars by setting up snares and fencing of fields by live electrical wires.

According to sources, reports of crop damage by wild boars first came from Chittoor, the home district of minister for forest and environment Ramchandra Reddy, about six months ago. It was claimed that the wild boars have eaten away nearly two third of the groundnut seedlings in the district. The Chittoor district DFO was given permission to deal suitably to what was termed as wild boar menace. Soon after, the CWW was told that the problem is not restricted to Chittoor alone and he should therefore include the entire state in his order. Faced with an unprecedented situation, CWW Hitesh Malhotra reportedly sought direction from the government which quickly responded that since the problem is widespread he should give orders to all his field officers to cull the animal.

According to wildlife experts Sukanya Kadyan of the International Organization for Animal Protection in India , the order should not have been so sweeping in nature. The government should have asked the department to deal with the wild boar problem on a case-by-case basis. There are certain districts from where no complaint of wild boar attack has been reported. Though the CWW has struck a few notes of caution in his orders such as the presence of a range officer during the culling of the animal by hunters, declaring the dead animal property of the government and burying the body three feet under the ground, experts believe that such guidelines are not practical. The DFO would not be able to spare a range officer (RO) on every wild boar hunting expedition and even if the RO is assigned the job he would not be able to keep a tab on the hunters. The hunters could be killing many animals but claiming that they have hunted only a few of them.

Experts believe that the permission would lead to massacre of wild boars. However, defending the decision a forest department officer said that it has been given only on an experimental basis. The forest department would review the situation next year and decide the future course of action. But it is anybody's guess how many wild boars will be gone for ever till then.

STOP it at once, culling of wild boars, monkey and blue bulls in India.........mass culling is not a solution nor shifting from their natural habitat.
Naresh Kadyan, representative of the International Organisation for Animal Protection lodged complaint vide No. FOR/2010293 dated 12-12-2010 and FOR/2010294 dated 13-12-2010 with CM, Himachal Pardesh and he may be allowed to deliver this petition in person as well.
The Animal Welfare Board of India - AWBI also comes forward to support us:

D.O. No.47/2010-COAWBI

13th December, 2010

Sub: Permits issued by Himachal State Wildlife Department for killing of Monkeys, Blue Bulls (Neel Gais) and Wild Boars - reg
...
As you are aware that the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has been constituted as a nodal central statutory agency under Section 4 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and is vested with the mandate of prevention of cruelty to animals and promoting their welfare.

It has come to the notice of the AWBI that the Himachal State Wildlife Department has issued permits for killing of Monkeys, Blue Bulls (Neel Gais) and Wild Boars and in furtherance of the same approximately 3000 permits have since been issued.

You are well aware that the Act mandates issuance of such permits only in emergent conditions where ample data / proof is available and reliable statistics of damage to crops, life and property exists. The permits cannot be issued merely because the powers are vested for their issuance. Due application of mind and a rational assessment / analysis of other available options such as relocation and creation of sanctuaries for these animals should have been carried out.

The reports of the AWBI notified Animal Welfare organizations and their representatives functioning in Himachal Pradesh have reported and informed the Board that in fact no such imminent danger exists calling for such an extreme and cruel action on the part of State Wildlife Department. Animal Welfare activists from all over the country and in fact the entire World have raised their protests against these killings in Himachal Pradesh.

It appears that the entire exercise of granting permits by the state wildlife department is politically motivated and has been engineered by some political group in view of forthcoming Panchayat elections in the state targeting the vote bank.

It is surprising that the State Wildlife Department which is statutorily mandated to protect and conserve the wildlife is actively aiding and abetting such an illegal and cruel activity promoted for political gains. The Board has directed the notified Animal welfare Organizations operating in the state to monitor and record every individual killing that may take place under the above permits. The Board will initiate criminal proceedings under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, Wildlife Protection Act and Indian Penal Code against the person/s indulging in any such killing under the permits so issued by your Department. In addition, the Board will also inform the Ministry of Environment and Forests to initiate immediate action against the permission issued by your Department for killing of wildlife without exercising the alternative options of their relocation / creation of sanctuaries for their protection.

You are therefore requested to withdraw and cancel all such permits issued by you immediately. You are further requested to consult the nodal Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Animal Welfare Board of India before resorting to such extreme measures. A copy of this communication is being sent to MOEF, Govt. of India .

Please note that in a civilized society the man-animal conflicts if any, are required to addressed in a rational and scientific manner rather than resorting to old, cruel and barbaric methods. I’ll close my letter with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi the father of our Nation, “The Social Development of a nation is judged by the way its people treat their animals”.

(Dr.R.M.Kharb), Maj. Gen(Retd), AVSM, Chairman, AWBI

The Chief Willife Warden A.K.Gulati to issue permits to kill the rhesus macaque between December 10-23 upon the instigation of the Kheti Bachao Sangharsh Samiti ostensibly to prevent the destruction to crops. The KBSS, which is a splinter political group in search of a constituency, has also, according to newspaper reports, asked for permits to kill the blue bull and wild boar.
Such a campaign for the mass killing of the Macaca mulatta, an animal protected under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act was launched earlier by the same KBSS in 2007 on the eve of the National Elections. They have again launched the culling campaign on the eve of the Panchayati elections later this month.
In what appears to be a nexus with this political outfit, the Chief Wildlife Warden, Shri A.K.Gulati has been issuing permits to kill monkeys. While the issue of such permits is permissible under Chapter III, 11 (b), it appears that in this case the Officer in question has not based the issue of permits on any detailed empirical data that quantifies the so called damage caused to crops. Thus his action is illegal and unjustifiable.

We request you therefore

1. To immediately keep in abeyance the issue of permits for the culling of monkeys and other wildlife unless such data with proof of damage is made available.

2. To order such data to be inspected for authenticity by the Central Government and /or independent organizations like the Wildlife Institute of India, as the HP Govt. has lost credibility by supporting the unprecedented culling of monkeys.

3. To enquire into the climate of conspiracy that exists between the Wildlife Department and the Kheti Bachao Sangarsh Samiti that has facilitated the grant of monkey killing permits in a season when there are no standing crops in the fields and barely weeks before the Panchayat elections.

4. To take criminal action against the officer concerned should such a conspiracy be evidenced.

5. To set up sterilization units like the one at Tutikandi in other parts of Himachal Pradesh.

6. To revive the existing monkey sanctuary near the Tara Devi mandir, which was discontinued because of political reasons, and to create other similar sanctuaries in other parts of Himachal Pradesh.
The human-monkey conflict has been an issue for some time, however nothing justifies the culling which has been ordered. The habitat of the monkeys has diminished because of poor forest management and intensive agriculture, timber extraction, construction of roads and dams, etc.. This problem is entirely created by incompetent forest policies and corrupt practices with regard to the use of forests. Monkeys are unfortunately already being sterilized, which is itself a slow culling. Not happy with this method, the Wildlife Warden seems to wish to exterminate the species altogether.
We would like to remind you that the rhesus monkeys are revered and held sacred by persons all over the country and culling them will hurt the sentiments of certain religions.
We request you to therefore take immediate steps to implement an ethical and compassionate solution and restrict most immediately the issue of licenses to kill monkeys. Case No. CWP 8149/2010 was heard by the High Court at Shimla on 18-12-2010 and notice issued for 27th to file reply, The International Organisation for Animal Protection - OIPA in India and People for Animals (PFA) Haryana chief Naresh Kadyan taken up the matter before Governor, Chief Minister, Home and Election Secretary of Himachal Pardesh that misuse of arms to shot - culling monkey violates the code of conduct enforced during local body and gram panchyat elections, no one can allow to move and demonstrate arms publicly, where as people killed as many as 100 monkeys for no reasons.
-Naresh Kadyan,
Rep. of OIPA in India / Founder Chairman, PFA Haryana /
Master Trainer, AWBI.

The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Thursday stayed granting of permits by officials of the wildlife department to farmers to kill monkeys and other wild animals damaging their crops. Instead, the High Court directed the Himachal Pradesh government and the wildlife department to explore harmless means, such as air guns, air rifles and pistols that use rubber pellets, to control monkey menace for protection of crops.

A special bench of Chief Justice Kurien Joseph and Justice V K Ahuja, constituted for hearing of the matter, took up the petition filed by the Kasauli and Chandigarh units of People for Animals (PFA) and observed that if the government thought the problem of farmers could be tackled by annihilation of the problematic monkeys, “we are afraid the state has not understood and applied its mind to study psychological behaviour of monkeys and also the basic intention behind the WP Act, which is for their protection”.

The court ruled that killing of animals with the noblest intent of crop protection could only be used in inevitable and unavoidable situations as last resort. “Viewing the object of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the duty cast on the state (government) is that attempt is to be made to protect and not destroy wildlife, therefore other options need to be explored,” the court said. The chief justice asked the government to experiment and measure the impact of harmless methods and listed the case for March 5.

Talking to The Indian Express later, Additional Chief Secretary, Forest, Sudipto Roy said: “Immediately after the High Court’s decision, we started framing a proposal to be moved to Government of India for grant of funds to buy ammunition, in order to implement the court’s order of exploring option of air guns and shot guns. This is a costly affair and very less ammunition of this specification is available at our disposal.”

A mass movement for farmers’ rights was launched by NGO Kheti Bachao Sangharsh Samiti to apply for permits to kill monkeys and other animals like wild boars and neelgai in problematic areas. This campaign was challenged in the High Court by the PFA.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Chief Wildlife Warden A K Gulati submitted on Thursday that since November 1 to December 15, the state wildlife department had issued 259 permits and only 15 monkeys had been killed by six farmers during the period.

The bench, however, observed that “rural economy in the state has been badly hit due to monkey menace and farmers have also left many areas uncultivated”.

Gulati told the court that while sterilisation of monkeys would show results in the long term, the primate protection park at Taradevi in Shimla had failed to take off due to land issues. He submitted that the state was also thinking of exploring the option of using air guns and harmless rubber pellets, but due to shortage of funds nothing could be worked out.

The counsel for Animal Welfare Division of the Ministry of Environment and Forest argued that the state could not defend its inaction by reasons such as shortage of funds. He said Delhi had successfully translocated nearly 15,000 monkeys and Himachal could follow it.

The court said the state government should also continue looking for other methods of warding off animals from near the fields, like use of barbed fencing, fire and positioning trained dogs.

On August 25, 2004, the High Court had directed the Centre to allot Rs 1.2 crore for four different projects to control monkey menace in the state. After granting Rs 20 lakh for awareness campaigns, the Government of India filed an SLP in the Supreme Court in January 2006, challenging the High Court order. The petition is still pending in the apex court.