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Thread: West Bengal minister wants to auction wild animals

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    Default West Bengal minister wants to auction wild animals

    I was shocked after reading this news..

    West Bengal minister wants to auction wild animals
    TNN, Feb 17, 2011, 04.09am IST

    KOLKATA: West Bengal forest minister Ananta Ray has thrown every wildlife conservation rule out of the window. He feels Bengal has too many leopards, elephants and rhinos and they could be sold to private owners — the highest bidders as it were. They might even be exported to foreign zoos or sterilized to make sure they don't breed further, the minister said.

    The proposals, described as "absurd and illegal" by wildlife experts, were mooted by Ray at a press meet at Writers' Buildings on Monday. The forest department will soon write to the Union forest and environment ministry to seek permission, Ray said.

    Bisons, rhinos, deer, elephants and leopards were "in excess" in some forests of Bengal, he said. They stray into villages, injure and kill people. "Leopards and elephants have grown in number phenomenally. We have planned three things. They could be sterilized to control their population. We could transfer the excess population from forests to zoos. We also have the option of selling them to private individuals. We have received applications from a few interested parties," said Ray.

    Wildlife activists reacted angrily, saying Ray didn't know basic wildlife protection rules. "No animal is 'in excess' in any Indian forest. Wildlife rules strictly forbid the transfer of animals from the wild to captivity, be it a zoo in India or abroad. The plan to sell animals to private individuals is crazy. How can a minister make a statement which goes against the basic tenets of wildlife protection laws?" said Bittu Sahgal, wildlife activist. Ray admitted the chances of the proposals being accepted by the Centre were slim. "The elephant is our national animal. It remains to be seen if the Centre allows."

    Link - West Bengal minister wants to auction wild animals - The Times of India
    Mrudul Godbole

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    A minister talks in such an irresponsible manner. This not only shows his poverty of thought but also is a cause for concern as he is openly defying the law.

    Tomorrow, if he gets a chance to become health minister, probably he will talk of "harvesting" body parts from people as there are too many people.

    This is not only highly Unfortunate but also illegal and unethical. Unbecoming of a minister.

    I would like to know the reaction of the Chief Minister.


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    This report is indeed absurd. Forget about the illegality of the proposal - the minister seems to have taken the decision on wrong set of information - since when have our forests been over populated? Its another story that forest areas are shrinking. Which brings to the fore a more pertinent question - Is wildlife conservation a hostile subject in the Indian polity?

    I am confident that this proposal would get a quiet burial - I just hope that poachers in the Sundarbans or other forests in WB do not take the ministers view as an open license to poach wild animals. More importantly, I hope the government machinery don't get cold feet when it comes to prosecuting cases of poaching in the region.

    I thought Sabyasachi's hypothetical example of the person in question becoming the health minister was a bit of a hyperbole - but on second thoughts it couldn't have been more accurate. In the age of coalition politics anything is possible...
    Last edited by Ranbir Mahapatra; 18-02-2011 at 02:26 PM.

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