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Animals poisoned at IIFM

INDIAN INSTITUTE of Forest Management (IIFM) director has been served a 14-day legal notice under the Wildlife Conservation Act, 1972 for planting poisonous substance on the premises on April 27 and May 4 to kill stray dogs.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 11:09 IST

INDIAN INSTITUTE of Forest Management (IIFM) director has been served a 14-day legal notice under the Wildlife Conservation Act, 1972  for planting poisonous substance on the premises on April 27 and May 4 to kill stray dogs.
 
The IIFM management did not bother to check the fact that the practice of killing street dogs by poisoning had been banned and came in the category of hunting under the Wildlife (Protection) Act.

The poison laced in eatables, sources say, also killed some wildlife animals covered under the first schedule of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, besides stray dogs. Some people have reported sighting of dead animals such as peacocks and hares on the campus.

Incidentally, the IIFM itself had conducted a study in 2005 on the biodiversity of the campus. As per its report, there were 106 species of birds, 13 species of mammals and 16 species of reptiles found in the campus and some of them belonged to Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, sources added.

Anyone found causing damage to these species could be punished with imprisonment up to six years. Taking serious note of the poison planting, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Bhopal Satyanand issued a show cause notice to the director, IIFM on May 19 , warning of  legal action if the reply was not submitted in 14 days.

The DFO confirmed having sent the notice, adding, the department received  information about poisoning in the institute premises a bit late.

“I have asked the IIFM management to furnish a reply on this issue because the poison planted for stray dog could have an adverse impact on the health of a wide variety of animals present in the campus even if none of them got killed,” Satyanand told Hindustan Times. 

When contacted, IIFM director D K Bandopadhyay initially pleaded ignorance about any notice from the DFO. However, when this correspondent told him that he had a copy of the notice, the director relented and narrated his version of the incident.

“We approached the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) because people in the campus had been facing a stray dog menace for quite some time. These dogs are a constant source of worry and people here can’t sleep due to the menace. Dogs bit three or four children and injured faculty member,” he clarified.

The director, however, denied that any other animals were killed due to poisoning. “I am writing to Principal Secretary, Forest and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest about the entire episode, problems faced by the people due to presence of stray dogs and also about those officers who are trying to malign the image of the prestigious institute,” he said.   

Broken laws
IIFM management did not bother to check the fact that the practice of killing street dogs by poisoning had been banned and came in the category of hunting under the Wildlife (Protection) Act. The poison laced in eatables, sources say, also killed some wildlife animals covered under the first schedule of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, besides stray dogs.