Home / Politics / Policy /  Plea against culling of animals declared as vermin to be heard by top court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea seeking quashing of three notifications passed by the Centre declaring the Nilgai, wild boar and Rhesus Macaque monkey as vermin and allowing for their culling in three states.

The plea, which was filed by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi before a vacation bench of justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Nageswar Rao, said the Centre did not have the powers to issue such notifications.

Maulekhi challenged three notifications of the ministry of environment, forests and climate change which declared certain animals as vermin and allowed for their culling for a period of one year.

The first notification dated 1 December, 2015 declared the Nilgai and wild boar as vermin in some districts of Bihar. It was followed by a notification dated 3 February declaring the wild boar vermin in districts of Uttarakhand. A notification dated 24 May declared the rhesus macaque monkey as vermin in some districts of Himachal Pradesh.

Once an animal is declared vermin, it is deprived of protection under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. As a result of these notifications, culling of these animals has been allowed in the selected regions for one year each.

The plea contended that indiscriminate slaughter of these animals is bound to have a detrimental effect on the food chain, leading to an ecological imbalance.

It also said that there had been no application of mind by the Centre in passing such arbitrary orders, which it contended were in violation of Article 14 of the constitution.

The case is likely to be heard later in the week.

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