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Kerala HC directs Chief Wildlife Warden to permit farmers to hunt wild boars on agricultural lands

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Kochi (Kerala) | July 23, 2021 11:15:14 PM IST
The Kerala High Court passed an interim order directing the Chief Wildlife Warden to permit the farmers to hunt wild boars in the areas where their agricultural lands are situated.

Justice PB Suresh Kumar passed the order on the petitions of six farmers from Kozhikode seeking directions to the Central government to declare wild boars be declared as vermin under Section 62 of the Wildlife Protection Act.

The bench of Justice PB Suresh Kumar also directed the Centre to comply with the order within one month.

"So far as it is seen that the properties of the petitioners are under threat of the attack of the wild boars and insofar as the stand of the state government is that the steps taken under Section 11(1)(b) of the act to avert the said menace did not yield any result and that the only alternative to protect the interests of the farmers is to declare wild boars as vermin in specified areas in the State, I deem it appropriate to pass an interim order directing the Chief Wildlife Warden to permit the petitioners to hunt wild boars in the areas where their agricultural lands are situated, as provided for in Section 11(1)(b) of the Act. Ordered accordingly. The direction aforesaid shall be complied with, within a month," the court said in its order.

Six farmers - KV Sebastian, PM Abdul Majeed, Raghuprasad PC, Annie Shyam, Jacob Punnen and ED Sebastian had moved the court in November last year. They hold lands in Pathanamthitta, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts.

The Court further said, "It is seen that having been convinced of the grievance voiced by persons similarly placed like the petitioners, during November 2020, the state government has requested the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of the Government of India to declare wild boars as vermin in the problematic areas of the State. In terms of the provisions of the act, if wild boars are declared as vermin, they can be hunted by the persons concerned to prevent damage to their life and property. The proposal of the state government aforesaid was returned by the ministry during December 2020 suggesting to make use of the provisions contained in Section 11(1)(b) of the act for the purpose of averting the menace, utilizing the services of Panchayat Raj institutions."

The High Court said it is also seen that on June 17, the state government has taken up the matter again with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to declare wild boars as vermin in the problematic areas of the state, pointing out that the various steps taken by the state government since 2011 did not yield any result. The Central government is yet to take any final decision on the request made by the state on June 17.

"Under Section 11(1)(b) of the act, the Chief Wildlife Warden is empowered, if he is satisfied that any animal specified in Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, has become dangerous to human life or to property including standing crops on any land, to permit by order in writing any person to hunt such animal or any group of animals in that specified area," the court added. (ANI)

 
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