Bhupendar Yadav affirms CWWs’ authority to declare wildlife as vermin

| Updated: 23 February, 2024 3:59 pm IST

WAYANAD: Minister for Forest and Environment, Bhupendar Yadav, asserted that Chief Wildlife Wardens (CWWs) possess the authority to designate wildlife as vermin, under the existing provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act. This announcement, made on Thursday, empowers them to take necessary actions, including trapping and culling, to mitigate wild animal attacks posing threats to human lives and property.

Yadav’s remarks came during his visit to Wayanad, where he met with families affected by recent encounters with wild elephants and tigers. Addressing concerns over human-animal conflicts, Yadav emphasised the role of CWWs in managing problematic animals.

The minister’s statements hold significance, particularly in light of the Kerala Assembly’s recent resolution to amend wildlife protection laws to address the escalating conflict between humans and animals in the state.

During his visit, Yadav paid respects to the families of the victims, starting with Prajeesh, who lost his life in a tiger attack on December 9 in Moodakolli, Poothadi.

In a separate incident on Wednesday, a tiger attacked two cows belonging to Saseendran in Kurichipatta near Pulpally, killing one cow and severely injuring another. The attack occurred in broad daylight while the cows were grazing in the field, prompting concerns among locals.

Forest department officials confirmed the tiger’s involvement after examining footprints at the scene. A forest patrol was dispatched to the area following the incident, which occurred merely one kilometre away from the residence of Paul V P, who fell victim to a wild elephant attack last Friday.

Taking to social media afterward, Minister Yadav assured the family of Ajeesh, another victim of a recent animal attack, of the Centre’s support during their time of mourning. “We will ensure full support to get their lives back on track. I pray the departed souls rest in eternal peace,” he expressed.

Ajeesh’s demise had sparked a public outcry in Wayanad, highlighting the urgency of addressing the recurring incidents of wildlife encounters in the region.

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