KOLKATA: Wildlife NGOs have warned the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change that any move to allow the use of wild species for religious and cultural practices may fuel poaching.
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and other conservation NGOs such as Aaranyak, Wildlife Protection Society of India, TRAFFIC-India and Wildlife Society of Orissa, have written to the MoEFCC objecting to draft wildlife policy.
"The suggestion in the Draft Wildlife Policy will contradict the spirit of the Constitution in terms of ethics and safeguarding the natural wealth of the country. Controlled killing of animals has historically fuelled poaching and black markets of wildlife products," the NGOs said.
They said it would encourage the existing black market of several threatened species which are protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act.
"Controlled killing has often shown harmful effects on wild species, such as breeding depression. Many threatened species such as owls and pangolins are nocturnal and hence difficult to monitor and protect. The new suggestion will create loopholes in the laws protecting them," they have told the ministry.
In order to avoid confrontation between enforcement authorities and communities, the draft policy suggests distinction between hunting and use for religious or cultural practices, with appropriate safeguards and cruelty prevention regulations.