Ensure total ban on catfish breeding: HC

Ensure total ban on catfish breeding: HC

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday directed the State government to ensure a complete ban on the sale and breeding of African catfish across Karnataka and initiate criminal action against breeders.

Hearing a petition by D M Moula and other residents of Razakpalya in Bangalore seeking relief from catfish cultivators, the Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao and Justice Abdul Nazeer asked the government to initiate action against the breeders and destroy their fish farms.

Directing the government to file an action taken report within three months, the Bench expressed concern over the thriving catfish farming across the State.

‘Support of leaders’

“It is rampant in Ramanagara, Kengeri and other places. These breeders are enjoying the patronage of local politicians.

“Police must take action against these farms,” the Acting Chief Justice said.

“What will you do if this species enters rivers? It will result in the pollution of the rivers. Give directions to all the deputy commissioners to destroy them,” the court said.

When the petitioner submitted that the Fisheries Department, superintendents of police, police commissioners and tahsildars should also be vested with powers to apprehend persons who are into illegal breeding, sale and transportation of catfish, the Bench said that they be vested with powers under Section 133 of Criminal Procedure
Code, which enables them to raid and file criminal complaints against breeders and traders.

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