Hyderabad: Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wild Life) and Chief Wildlife Warden R Sobha on Thursday said that photography with dead animals was not only unethical and unwarranted, but also in poor taste. She was reacting to certain instances that came to the notice of the Forest Department wherein shooters after completing the culling operation have got themselves photographed with rifles in their hands standing behind the carcasses of culled wild pigs.
The Chief Wildlife Warden based on the government authorisation delegated powers under the Act to sarpanches to permit culling of wild pigs damaging crops. Based on orders, culling operations have commenced in certain areas wherein the sarpanches requested the expert shooters from the panel prepared by department to take up shooting of wild pigs. Since publicising such photographs may lead to resentment and anger among animal activists, nature lovers and general public, it must be avoided at all costs. All the shooters in the Forest Department panel and officials involved in the process have been sensitised about this issue, she said.
According to her, the Section 39 of WLPA- 1972 states that wild animal which is hunted under Section 11 shall be the property of the State government. Though permission is being given on case to case basis to cull wild pigs, the species continues to be a scheduled animal protected under the Act. Hence, culling of wild pigs as per the orders of the government cannot be considered as trophy hunting.
Detailed instructions have been issued to the sarpanches and forest officials for proper disposal of the carcasses. It was also mentioned that no person should use or consume any part of the wild pig killed as it is the property of State government. It is ethically binding on every citizen to treat every animal, wild or domestic, dead or alive with compassion and dignity as embedded in Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution of India. Taking photograph with carcasses of wild pigs violates this principle and also goes against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
The shooters come into picture at the invitation of the sarpanch to cull wild pigs damaging crops to bring relief to farmers. They are expected to take up the job responsibly as a voluntary service to the cause of farmers showing discipline, magnanimity and compassion during the culling operation.
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