Owners say they passed on wildlife trophies to others due to delay in certification
The forest department that started certifying wildlife trophies from January 30 is facing a peculiar problem. Now, many applicants are saying they had passed on items in their possession to others as certification process got delayed for 18 yearsdehradun Updated: Mar 26, 2018 21:40 IST
The forest department that started certifying wildlife trophies from January 30 is facing a peculiar problem. Now, many applicants are saying they had passed on items in their possession to others as certification process got delayed for 18 years.
The applications received to declare the wildlife parts in possession of the people or organisations were between 2000-2003.
It took a lot of time for forest officers to devise a mechanism and start the process of tagging the trophies that needed technical as well as manpower support.
Chief wildlife warden Digvijay Singh Khati is receiving several personal and official communication stating that the trophies have been passed on to other people.
A few hoteliers of Mussoorie have approached the officer for relief.
“If the owner, who had submitted the application, is not able to produce the items, then we will cancel the application. In future, if the trophy is confiscated then the owner would be booked,” said Khati.
The Chief wildlife warden has cautioned those who have approached him in this regard and gave them a month’s time to procure back the parts.
If they failed to do so, their registration with the forest department would be cancelled, he said.
The officers, who started the exercise from Garhwal Rifles in Lansdowne, are currently in the process of labelling and bar coding the trophies.
The bar code details are carefully recorded and will be uploaded on the website.
Anyone, who possess a trophy that is not certified by the department, will be deemed illegal and seized levying charges and penalty on the owner.
Section 44 of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 identifies such trophies illegal if they are not duly certified. The act authorises the chief wildlife warden to issue certificates.
As per the official list, 34 saints of Haridwar and Rishikesh possess such trophies.
Majority of ashrams and trusts in these areas have tiger and leopard skins, besides ivory and other wildlife items. The skins are used as meditation mats by them.
A total of 117 tiger or lion hides are in possession with various stakeholders in the state, as per the applications received. Besides, 96 leopard skins, 16 ivory, 12 antlers and head of black deer and 2 of musk deer, 11 bear skins, 101 sahtush shawl, 3 snow leopard skin and around 168 other wildlife parts are in possession of civilians.