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Wild animal encroachments: Kerala CM calls for amendment to Wildlife (Protection) Act

Kannur (Kerala), Mar 11 (PTI) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday advocated for amendments to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, citing challenges faced by the state government in dealing with instances of wild animals encroaching into human habitats.

Kannur (Kerala), Mar 11 (PTI) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday advocated for amendments to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, citing challenges faced by the state government in dealing with instances of wild animals encroaching into human habitats.

Attending an online event connected with the development projects at the Aaralam farm, Vijayan said even in emergency situations, the central laws pose a major obstacle to dealing with encroaching wild animals.

The Chief Minister said the state government places paramount importance on safeguarding both human lives and preventing conflicts with wildlife.

'Central laws pose a significant obstacle to addressing incidents involving wild animals encroaching into human habitats. The current provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act need to be strictly followed while dealing with wild animals including their killing, tranquilizing, caging or rehabilitation,' Vijayan said.

He said the state government has limitations in taking action even in emergency situations.

'The state government has taken a stand seeking amendments to the law. We need an effective law to protect wildlife, the environment and human life. However, the Centre is of the opinion that such a law cannot be passed,' Vijayan said.

His statement came a day after a ministerial-level meeting of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka was held at Bandipur in Karnataka to discuss adopting a joint standard operating procedure (SOP) to manage the rise in human-animal conflict.

Karnataka Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment Eshwar Khandre had said that the three states have decided to work together to prevent human-wildlife conflict and poaching, and to conserve forests and wildlife.

There have been several incidents of wild animals attacking and killing humans in the three states in recent months -- and it has become a major issue in Kerala, with people living near forested areas holding major protests against the state government for allegedly doing little to prevent the loss of life and property. PTI RRT RRT SS

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