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What’s Wrong with Indian Government? Ask Animal Lovers

People all over the world are asking what is wrong with the Indian government on account of ruthless culling of animals

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Animal cruelty is widely condemned all over the world. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons
  • 1.5 million people over the world are outraged at the fact that protected animals are killed as vermin by the Indian government
  • About 100 NGOs have urged Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar to stop unscientific killings of animals
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that conservation of nature should not be a drag on development

NEW DELHI: Notwithstanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for conservation and to project India’s eco-sensitive stance, the government’s call for culling of “vermin” animals has caused a blot on its image abroad, with over 1.5 million people asking ‘what’s wrong with the Indian government’.

“It is distressing to learn that protected animals are being killed and treated as vermin. When laws are disrespected it does damage to the image of any country as one is committed to the rule of law and to protection of species,” Kathy Hessler, Clinical Professor of Law and Animal Law Clinic Director at Lewis and Clark Law School, told IANS. The institute is one of the only centres in the world that teaches animal law.

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About 100 NGOs under Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisation have urged Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar to stop unscientific and indiscriminate culling of wild species declared as ‘vermin’.

The Indian government has admitted to culling Nilgai, an antelope species, wild boar, and monkeys (rhesus macaque) on the specific request of state governments after terming them “vermin”. The debate has now reached the Supreme Court, which will hear a plea challenging three government notifications that declared these species as vermin.

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Prime Minister Modi, addressing the ‘Third Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation’ in April this year, had said that “conservation of nature should not be a drag on development and can happen in a mutually complementary manner”.

Though India’s own Wildlife Protection Act-1972 is considered one of the best and inspiring laws in the world, the reports of culling of 250 Nilgai in Bihar, and plans to kill other species, and the Union Environment Minister supporting the move, has shocked international institutes.

Hessler says the Indian government should seriously explore alternatives.

“We also recognize that human-animal conflicts cause real damage, but it needs to be prevented and managed better with the interests of all in mind,” she added.

animals
About 100 NGOs under Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisation have urged Prakash Javadekar to stop unscientific and indiscriminate culling of wild species. Image courtesy: Economic Times

Javadekar has said there are laws that support culling. But experts disagree.

“Under section 62 of the Wildlife Protection Act, certain animals could be declared vermin. But it never says that killing is to be the first solution. In the case of Nilgai, it seems that the government is not interested in exploring other options, which are easy and require no killing,” Nikunj Sharma of PETA told IANS.

He adds that ever since the debate on culling has arisen, India’s image abroad as a society that has always respected conservation and valued the environment has taken a beating.

“We have been receiving reactions from across the globe. There have been some 15 lakh reactions on our webpage alone. People are asking what is wrong with the Indian government,” he said.

According to Hessler, India needs to educate its public about the value of animals and the need for peaceful mutual coexistence for better functioning of the ecosystem.

Stating that Nilgai and wild boar are part of protected species in India, she said that culling of these animals is proof that laws need to be strengthened.

Kartick Satyanarayan of Wildlife SOS, who is working with ecologists in Alaska on bear conservation, also says that the news of culling of Nilgai has hurt India’s reputation.

“The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is a visionary law. There are case studies on it. Students across the world come here to learn about conservation and people admire India for its pro-wildlife image. But the culling and consideration for more animals to be declared vermin has damaged our reputation,” Kartick told IANS.

-by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter Handle: @saurabhbodas96

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  • Shubhi Mangla

    Both animals and plants constitute our nature. Hence, culling animals by declaring them as ‘vermin’ is certainly not an excuse. Strict action must be taken against these poachers.

  • AJ Krish

    The government should never resort to killing animals as their first choice. Another alternative must be found.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    poaching should be immediately looked after. We cannot afford losing animals or plants which belong our ecosystem. This way we are putting ourselves into huge problems as disturbing the ecosystem harms the surroundings of that particular area.

SHARE
  • Shubhi Mangla

    Both animals and plants constitute our nature. Hence, culling animals by declaring them as ‘vermin’ is certainly not an excuse. Strict action must be taken against these poachers.

  • AJ Krish

    The government should never resort to killing animals as their first choice. Another alternative must be found.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    poaching should be immediately looked after. We cannot afford losing animals or plants which belong our ecosystem. This way we are putting ourselves into huge problems as disturbing the ecosystem harms the surroundings of that particular area.

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India Second to US in Demanding Facebook User Data, Requests Up by 37%

Globally, in the first half of 2019, government requests for user data increased by 16 per cent from 110,634 to 128,617

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India, US, Facebook
The US government sent Facebook total 50,741 requests about users' data in the same period. Pixabay

The Indian government was second to the US in requesting Facebook for access to users’ data in the first six months of this year — an increase of nearly 37 per cent from the second half (July-December period) last year.India

The Indian government sent Facebook 22,684 queries about users in the above mentioned period and the social networking giant provided data in 54 per cent of the request, according to Facebook’s Transparency Report.

The US government sent Facebook total 50,741 requests about users’ data in the same period.

Globally, in the first half of 2019, government requests for user data increased by 16 per cent from 110,634 to 128,617.

India, US, Facebook
The Indian government sent Facebook 22,684 queries about users in the above mentioned period and the social networking giant provided data in 54 per cent of the request, according to Facebook’s Transparency Report. Pixabay

“Of the total volume, the US continues to submit the largest number of requests, followed by India, the UK, Germany and France,” said Chris Sonderby, VP & Deputy General Counsel, said in a statement on Thursday.

In the US, Facebook received 50,741 requests, representing an increase of 23 per cent more requests than last half, which is consistent with trends over time.

“We always scrutinise every government request we receive for account data to make sure it is legally valid. This is true no matter which government makes the request.

“If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back, and will fight in court, if necessary. We do not provide governments with a back doors’ to people’s information,” said Sonderby.

Also Read- Apple Releases Second Developer Beta of MacOS Catalina 10.15.2

During the reporting period, the volume of content restrictions based on local law decreased globally by 50 per cent from 35,972 to 17,807.

“This decrease follows an unusual spike last half in which we restricted 16,600 items in India based on a Delhi High Court order. Of the total volume, 58 per cent of restrictions originated from Pakistan and Mexico,” said Facebook.

The company also identified 67 disruptions of Facebook services in 15 countries, compared to 53 disruptions in nine countries in the second half of 2018.

“During this reporting period, we took down 3,234,393 pieces of content based on 568,836 copyright reports, 255,222 pieces of content based on 96,501 trademark reports and 821,727 pieces of content based on 101,582 counterfeit reports,” informed Facebook. (IANS)