Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Thursday, lashed out at the Union Environment Ministry headed by Prakash Javadekar for handing out permission to kill wild animals.
Maneka's statement comes in the light of the environment ministry submitting a report seeking to legalise killing of certain wild animals which are found in excess in the animal-human conflict areas.
Talking to media, Maneka, who is also an animal rights activist said, "The ministry is writing to each state giving permission to kill animals. In West Bengal, they have issued orders to kill elephants, in Himachal Pradesh they have ordered for monkeys to be killed and in Goa the peacocks are killed. In Maharashtra's Chandrapur, they have killed 53 wild boars and given permission to kill 50 more."
Accusing the environment ministry of indulging in animal slaughter, she said, "I don't know what kind of lust for killing has taken over the environment ministry."
Maneka claimed that this is the first time a environment ministry has given such a permission to kill animals.
In a move to resolve increasing man-animal conflict, especially those causing damages to crops, environment ministry earlier this week had said that it has sought report from the states to declare certain overpopulated animals as vermin for a limited period of time.
Once declared vermin, that particular species can be hunted without restriction.
"We had issued a circular in this regard earlier also. In areas where farmers are facing huge problems due to animals, there is a procedure to declare them as 'vermin' like blue bull and wild boar for a particular period of time," environment minister Prakash Javadekar had said.
"As soon as we get states' response on this, we will give them permission to declare such animals as 'vermin' for a limited period of time," he said.
If implemented, it will apply to wild animals listed in various Schedules of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) 1972. The provisions to declare wild animals as problem animals are already there in the WPA, the Minister said.
In the past, various tigers have been killed or relocated after they were termed as man-eaters by the state forest departments.