Seeking to quash the orders of the Union environment ministry and state governments of Bihar, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh on culling of animals, activists are set to move Supreme Court against it. Just last week, Union cabinet colleagues Maneka Gandhi and Prakash Javadekar were involved in a war of words on the environment ministry’s decision to declare Rhesus Macaque monkeys as vermins in Himachal Pradesh for a year, allowing to kill them for damaging crops and property. The ministry has already allowed culling of nilgai and wild boars in Uttarakhand and Bihar while proposals from Gujarat and Maharashtra are pending.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Now, based on official documents and proposals sent to the Centre by the three states, activists said that no scientific study was done before allowing culling of animals, in contravention of the environment ministry’s own advisory dated December 24, 2014. The ministry’s 2014 advisory, encouraged state governments to seek central assistance in declaring wild animals such as Nilgai and wild boars as vermins. But, it had asked states to also specify the scientific basis for seeking vermin status for animals, in their proposals, which is found to be missing.”While our fundamental opposition is permission to cull animals for which we will move court, it has also come to light that state proposals were inadequate and lacking in data on crop damage, population studies and specific areas where the problem is acute. In the Uttarakhand proposal, senior officials have admitted themselves that no study or survey has been done,” said Gauri Maulekhi, an animal rights activist. State proposals and related documents reviewed by dna confirmed Maulekhi’s claims.With the exception of Himachal Pradesh, who have provided some details on compensation paid to farmers, Uttarakhand and Bihar’s proposals find no mention of crop damage and monetary losses incurred. In fact, the Bihar wildlife board helmed by chief minister Nitish Kumar cleared the proposal to kill nilgai’s and boars without any deliberation during the meeting, minutes show.Maulekhi added that monoculture, encroachment of forest land, unregulated tourism, reduction of buffer zones and consequent fragmentation, mining and blasting are some of the key reasons for the rise in human-animal conflict, and these issues will be raised in court. “When the herbivores and smaller mammals don’t have water to drink and adequate vegetation to feed on, they are bound to stray into human habitations,” Maulekhi said.

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Activists set to move Supreme Court seeking quashing of order to cull animals