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What is the News?
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment, Forests and Climate Change has submitted its report on the proposed Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021. The Bill seeks to amend the Wildlife Protection Act,1972.
What are the suggestions given by the committee?
Do not encourage the sale and purchase of captive elephants
Original Act: Section 43 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act,1972 states that no person in possession of the captive animal or animal articles shall transfer them by way of sale or offer for sale or by any other mode of consideration of commercial nature.
Proposed Amendment: The amendment Bill introduces an exemption clause to Section 43. It says that this section shall not apply to the transfer or transport of any live elephant by a person having a certificate of ownership. This can be done only if such person has obtained prior permission from the State Government on fulfillment of such conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
Suggestion: The committee has strongly recommended the deletion of this exemption clause for elephants. The committee has argued for a “careful balance” between traditions and conservation.
Species Missing in Schedules
Original Act: Currently, the Wild Life (Protection) Act,1972 has six schedules for specially protected plants (one), specially protected animals (four), and vermin species (one).
Proposed Amendment: The Bill proposes three Schedules — Schedule I for species that will enjoy the highest level of protection, Schedule II for species that will be subject to a lesser degree of protection and Schedule III that covers plants.
Suggestion: The committee has said that a number of species are missing in all the three Schedules. It found that species that should be in Schedule I but have been placed in Schedule II. Hence, this has to be corrected.
Source: This post is based on the article “Parliamentary panel cautions against trade in captive elephants” published in The Hindu on 15th April 2022.