Declare exotic pets, avoid prosecution: how one-time scheme works

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News: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC) has come out with an advisory on a one-time voluntary disclosure scheme that allows owners of exotic live species that have been acquired illegally or without documents to declare their stock to the government.


  • Aim of the scheme: To address the challenge of zoonotic diseases, develop an inventory of exotic live species for better compliance under the CITES and regulate their import.In its current form, the amnesty scheme is just an advisory and not a law.
  • Exotic wildlife covered under scheme: The advisory has defined exotic live species as animals named under the Appendices I, II and III of the CITES.It does not include species from the Schedules of the Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972.The advisory excludes exotic birds from the amnesty scheme.
  • Process for disclosure: The disclosure has to be done online through MoEFCC’s Parivesh portal The owner of the animal(s) will have to declare the stock to the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) of the concerned state or Union Territory.This will be followed by a physical verification of the animals.

Additional Facts:

  • Exotics Animals: These are those species that are mentioned under the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) but not under the schedules of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Pro Active Responsive facilitation by Interactive and Virtuous Environmental Single window Hub(PARIVESH) Portal: It is a Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change initiative for single window clearances of Environment, Forests and Wildlife and Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ) Clearances.
  • CITES: It is an international agreement between governments to ensure that international trade in wild animals, birds and plants does not endanger them. India is a member. Appendices I, II and III of CITES list 5,950 species as protected against over-exploitation through international trade.
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