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Farmers in Dilemma after Kerala Government's Order on Killing Wild Boars

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

The Kerala State Government's latest orders on killing wild boars have put all farmers in a dilemma. As per the order issued on March 3, farmers should have a licensed gun and they should adhere to a number of other legal conditions. 

Farmers living on the fringes of the forest have raised the concern of having non-licensed guns. Very few farmers have licensed guns and those who earlier owned guns have surrendered them before the authorities because of hurdles in renewing the license every year.  

A farmer from Pathanapuram was recently attacked by a wild elephant and was hospitalised at Kottayam Medical College. Similarly, many farmers who are having farmlands on the borders of forests are facing problems due to wild animals. 

According to a report by the Hindu, a farmer from Koodaranhi said even the licensed gun holders too would not be able to meet the new conditions. Only those who have made their entry into the Divisional Forest Officers’ approval panel would be able to use the weapon in a particular area. 

According to official figures, the total number of licensed gun holders in Kozhikode district is 176. The highest number of them,125, is from Kozhikode taluk, where there is no wild animal menace. Only 56 licensed gun holders were in the other three taluks in the district. 

Farmers’ association leaders said the formation of such a panel too was not likely to take place because of the limited number of licensed gun holders. They also pointed out that licensed gun holders might not be even available in a particular area where farmers face the crisis. 

A plantain cultivator from Chakkittappara panchayat said the government should have allowed farmers to make use of other possible traps and native methods to kill wild boars straying into the fields. He complained that the order had no such practical options to help the struggling farmers other than just introducing a law for the sake of doing it with many complications. 

Meanwhile, Forest Department officials said the new law was passed by the government by preventing all the possibilities of misuse. They said that some favourable amendments can be done in the law, taking in consideration of the farmer's plight. However, there will not be any amendment that will hamper the existing laws meant to conserve wildlife. 

As per the statistics, the wild boar population increased from 40,963 in 1993 to 60,940 in 2002. The population, however, dipped to 48,034 in 2011. 

However, in 2011 that the state government gave special permission to farmers to kill the crop-raiding animal under the most stringent of conditions aimed to prevent any misuse. 

However, farmers and people's representatives had been repeatedly raising complaints against the 'impractical conditions.' 

 

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