Telangana government has, on Tuesday, paved way for widespread culling of wild boar by designating village sarpanches as honorary wildlife wardens for the purpose of issuing permissions.
Citing a proposal by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, the government has also authorised the Chief Wildlife Warden to delegate his/her powers to them, for the purpose of issuing permission for culling of wild pigs damaging agriculture/horticulture crops outside the protected areas and reserve forests.
The orders have been issued under the Section 11(b) and Section 4(3) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, in response to widespread disgruntlement among farmers about marauding wild boars.
Wire snares deployed by farmers to trap the boars, frequently end up killing tigers and other wild animals.
Though there is an approved panel of shooters for the wild boar culling, permission hitherto had to be obtained from the District Forest Officer.
The powers delegated to the village sarpanches will be in force for a year only, the orders stipulated, among several other conditions.
Written complaint from the farmers is a must for the sarpanch to take action. He or she should visit the location for investigation along with village elders and farmers to assess the situation and draw a Panchanama. In the Panchanama, he or she may recommend hunting of the wild pigs, to be followed by permission.
For the purpose of hunting, the sarpanch may seek the services of empanelled shooters, or enlist any other hunter available at the village or mandal or district level with a valid firearms license, and a rifle powerful enough to kill a wild pig, the orders said.
A copy of the permission given by the sarpanch specifying the numbers should be provided to the Forest Beat Officer, Forest Section Officer or Forest Range Officer concerned, who in turn should forward the same to the Chief Wildlife Warden.
Care should be exercised by the shooters to ensure that marauding animals alone are hunted, and none from the protected areas, reserve forest areas or government lands.
The carcasses of the hunted wild pigs should be buried underground in the presence of forest staff, and no part thereof should be consumed, possessed or displayed as trophy, the orders said.