Paintbrushes made of mongoose hair have been seized for the first time in the Northeast by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau. The brushes were submitted in court today.
A special team of the crime control bureau, in collaboration with the Assam forest department and police, picked up a person, identified as Manan Singh, from a shop in Panbazar here yesterday for selling the brushes. A WCCB official said around 200 paint brushes were seized.
The operation was led by Abhijit Roy Chowdhury, assistant director of the crime control bureau. The bureau has registered a case against Singh under the Wildlife Protection Act.
“This is the first time that mongoose hair brushes have been seized in the Northeast. Mongoose hair is in heavy demand for making paint brushes,” the official said.
Singh resides at Bhutnath in the city and has a shop in Panbazar, which sells drawing materials for children.
“He used to sell mongoose hair paint brushes from the shop. We had specific inputs and picked him up yesterday,” the official said.
Singh’s interrogation is on.
Mongoose is a protected species under Schedule II and part II of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. All mongoose species, including the Indian grey mongoose and marsh mongoose, are in huge demand for wildlife trade.
Mongoose also finds international protection through restriction of exports, as listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).
Paintbrushes using mongoose hair are preferred as they are durable, easy to use and absorb moisture. The official said there could be some more raids in the state.
Sources said thousands of mongoose are believed to be killed annually in the country to meet the global demand for paint brushes made of mongoose hair.
“The concentration is always on wildlife trade of major species like the rhino, elephant and tiger while trade on smaller ones is not taken seriously,” the official said.
The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been conducting capacity building training programme in the Northeast to fulfil its mandate under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
“Capacity building and sensitisation of enforcement officers is very important to prevent wildlife crime in the country. Hence, we have taken special initiatives like holding training programmes. It helps field officers of the forest and police departments to prevent and combat wildlife crime in a comprehensive way by enhancing their skills,” the official said.