Interview With : Vardha Mehrotra, Director of Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisation
Updated on: 14 Jun 2016
A spate of clearances from Prakash Javadekar's environment ministry -- allowing Himachal Pradesh to kill a species of monkey (Rhesus Macaque), Bihar to eliminate the nilgai or blue bull, and Utarakhand to shoot wild pigs where they were in conflict with humans -- triggered a war of words between Javadekar and his fellow Cabinet colleague, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi.
While Maneka Gandhi, a well-known animal rights activist, accused Javadekar of showing a 'lust for killing animals', he asserted that such decisions were taken keeping scientific facts in mind to help those affected by such animals.
To get a sense of the issue, Syed Firdaus Ashraf/Rediff.com spoke to Vardha Mehrotra, director, Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisation which consists of over 60 animal protection organisations and over 200 activists.
How serious is the situation for animals like the nilgai and wild boar after the government order?
The issue of animals being declared as vermin has been going on for a while now.
Since December 2015, the environment ministry has been writing to several states and clearly saying that they need to write to the Centre if there are animals that they want to declare as vermin. This is unprecedented for the ministry.
Earlier this year several states sent their proposals.
Himachal Pradesh sent a proposal that they wanted monkeys to be declared as vermin which eventually happened.
In Goa, the peacock was declared as vermin.
All sorts of animals were declared vermin.
There have been so many proposals.
Never ever have so many states across the country declared animals as vermin as they have in 6 to 8 months.