After tigress Avni’s death, Maharashtra to stop hiring hunters to kill animals
Two months after tigress T-1, better known as Avni, was put down in Maharashtra by hired hunters on suspicions of having turned into a man-eater, the state animal welfare board has decided contract killing of ‘problematic’ animals will no longer be given to recreational or trophy hunters.
A resolution to this effect was passed by the board of 20 members, chaired by BJP MP Poonam Mahajan, during its meeting last month after advocate and member Ambika Hiranandani raised the issue. The information was made public on January 10.
“Maharashtra’s animal welfare board cannot keep silent in the wake of something so serious,” said Hiranandani.
“It was unanimously decided that the state needs to ensure such cases are not repeated. More veterinary officers need to be trained to tranquilise and rescue schedule 1 species. No contract killer is to be hired in future instances of human-animal conflict cases.”
Animal welfare groups said the board had taken a good decision but it was not binding on the CWLW.
“The CWLW is empowered by a weak and archaic law to be the sole person who can call anyone to eliminate wildlife seen as a threat to humans,” said Sarita Subramaniam, Earth Brigade Foundation, who has petitioned against the killing of T-1 at the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court.