Goa wants monkeys to be declared vermin, will the Centre agree?

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 13 January 2016 18:56 IST

Goa government wants some wild animals to be declared as vermin or nuisance animals by the Centre, but in a secretive manner.

This was disclosed by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar today in the Assembly while opposition leader Pratapsing Rane wondered why the government is so secretive about it.

The issue was discussed while debating upon the calling attention motion moved by Rane on the monkey fever that has gripped Sattari taluka he represents.

While monkey fever has affected the locals of Sattari taluka in almost 10 villages, Rane said monkeys are becoming a nuisance to the farmers all over Goa.

He thus demanded that some wild animals like monkeys, wild boars and bisons be declared as vermin so that the wild animal menace could be controlled and crops could be saved.

“Even elephants are killed in the countries like Africa when they become a nuisance”, observed Rane.

CM Parsekar rose up at this juncture to inform the House that the forest department is preparing a list of wild animals, proposed to be declared as vermin.

As per the centrally regulated Wild Life Animals Protection Act 1972, animals listed in Schedule V are vermin, who threaten human society by spreading diseases or destroying crops and livestock.

Once declared vermin, these animals can be hunted or culled without restriction, for a limited period.

After Narendra Modi government came to power, the Ministry of Environment and Forest had sent an advisory to all the states to suggest such nuisance animals in order to declare them as vermin.

Though monkey was a prime focus of the Assembly debate today, the MoEF  has already rejected the request of Madhya Pradesh government to declare monkey as a vermin.

In addition, Rane has also demanded that bison (gaur) and wild boar be also declared as vermin.

Since bison is Goa’s state animal, it needs to be seen what stand Goa government takes in this regard.

Perhaps Goa government wants to prepare the list of vermin and send it to the centre in a secretive manner, fearing opposition from animal rights activists.

“We are in the process of preparing the list, but let us not talk about it here”, said Parsekar.

MONKEY FEVER KILLS 1, AFFECTS 42

Meantime, deputy chief minister Francisco D’Souza (also the health minister) informed the House that monkey fever, also known as Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), has caused only one death last year in Pali village of Sattari.

While 30 cases of monkey fever were reported last year in 9 villages, there were no cases reported from June onwards.

However, the monkey fever has suddenly hit the Northern taluka once again since November last year, reporting almost 12 cases within 2 months in 3 villages of Sattari.

The health minister said more awareness is required since the villagers are not coming forward for a long-drawn-out vaccination course.

While 386 people were given the first dose of vaccines, he said only 221 among them came forward for the second dose.

Vishwajeet Rane, the Valpoi MLA, demanded thorough screening of the people hit with monkey fever and not just vaccination.

Claiming that monkey fever cases were also reported in the Khotigao wildlife sanctuary but neglected, Vijai Sardesai demanded that monkey fever be declared as medical emergency and steps be taken to control it.

 

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It is my private information and very reliable that some of the wild animals have decided to declare human beings as vermin. Unless human population is controlled no animal can be safe. Human beings according to these animals are so greedy that they alone are the threat to environment. Hence human beings are to be declared as vermin by wild animals.

- Madhav Bastodker, Ponda | 13 th January 2016 19:43

 

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