Over 200 Nilgai Shot Dead In Bihar; We Need To Move Away From Short-Sighted Solutions

The Logical Indian

June 11th, 2016

Source: News18The Indian Express |Image Source: justmonkeying

Over 200 Nilgai or blue bulls were shot in the Patna district of Bihar in just a span of six days after Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar sanctioned the killings as they were turning out to be a menace for the farmers, ruining their crops.

The blue bulls are found raiding agricultural fields in riverine areas of the Ganges basin. Areas in Bhojpur, Champaran, Patna, Buxar, Saran, Munger, Sasaram, Bhagalpur are worst affected. In many places, nearly 60 to 70 percent of the crops have been destroyed by the blue bulls, giving farmers a tough time. Thus, the farmers have been demanding a license from the state government to tame the Nilgai. To address the farmers’ problem, the Bihar government had asked the Centre to allow professional shooters to cull nilgai.

However, such a massacre against Nilgai has drawn resentment upon Javadekar, particularly from Union Women and Child Welfare Minister Maneka Gandhi, who belongs from the same cabinet. Apparently, Javadekar has given his assent to shoot blue bulls in Bihar’s 39 districts till November 31.

In an interview given to News18, Maneka Gandhi  said, “The Environment Minister is writing to every state to kill whichever animal people want. In Bengal he gave permission to kill elephants, in Himachal, he gave permission to kill monkeys, in Goa, it was peacocks. The Chandrapur massacre involves the killing of 53 wild boars and the permission for killing 50 more has been granted. His own wildlife department has said that they don’t want to kill. I don’t know what is with the brutal killing of so many animals.”

The Environment Ministry has asked every state which species of animal they want to declare “vermin” and kill them for a certain time to address the issue of crop damages and conflict with humans.

Permission has already been given for wild boar to be killed in Uttarakhand, Nilgai to be slaughtered in Bihar and monkeys to be murdered in Himachal Pradesh, as reported by The Indian Express. In Madhya Pradesh, the killing of Nilgai is legal more than a decade.

An article published in The Logical Indian on March 04, 2016, put down some interesting suggestions given out by the Forest Department of Madhya Pradesh to manage or minimize crop damage by wild animals. These included:

  1. Using the urine or faeces of tigers, or other carnivores, always works to repel herbivores.
  2. Interspersing maize with chillies or burning chillies around the field keeps elephants away. Honey bee keeping on the periphery of the fields also scares them away.
  3. Planting Lachhka and Barseem (alfalfa) as a buffer crop reduces crop raiding by blackbucks.
  4. Planting Lachhka and Barseem (alfalfa) as a buffer crop reduces crop raiding by blackbucks.
  5. Mixing the leaves of Sitafal (Sharifa), Besharam (Ipomoea carnea), cow urine and neem and spraying them over crops, stops animals from eating the crop even if they enter the field.
  6. Trained guard dogs. In their absence dog, faeces can be spread on the edges of each field.
  7. Fencing with medicinal plants that repel the pests.

The Logical Indian condemns the brutality shown by the part of the Environment ministry to cull down Nilgai. This is no doubt one of the biggest operations to hunt them down. Giving permission to kill will instigate hunters to kill Nilgai for sports. It will be also an opportunity for poachers to work actively. We have to understand why wild animals are migrating to areas with the human population. It is because forests lands are slowly decreasing in the country. We are sympathetic towards the great problem faced by the farmers, but killing other animals cannot be the option as it degrades the ecological balance. And we have to look for a long-term solution. 

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