Forest areas to be opened for grazing: CM

Forest areas to be opened for grazing: CM

Forest areas to be opened for grazing: CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said directions would be issued by the Forest department on Thursday to open forest lands for grazing of sheep and goats. This would happen with immediate affect as the land for grazing in non-forest areas had reduced.

He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for an ambulatory clinic at Karnataka Veterinary and Fisheries Department here, at a function organised by the Karnataka Sheep and Wool Development Corporation.

Such a measure would not affect the forest areas, the chief minister asserted. He said shepherds are nomads and they take their sheep for grazing alone. They were unsafe. The sheep and goats are also unsafe as many times they get stolen. So, for the safety of shepherds and sheep, he directed deputy commissioners of all districts to issue gun licences to shepherds who apply for it.

Siddaramaiah announced that shepherds would be compensated with Rs 5,000 for the death of each sheep due to diseases. Earlier, this was restricted to death due to accidents or lightening. He directed officials to prepare a plan for the formation of the Federation of Shepherds on the lines of the Karnataka Milk Federation.

Animal Husbandry Minister T B Jayachandra said cattle population in Bengaluru had come down by 11 per cent. Quoting a World Health Organisation report, he said that a person requires 11 kg meat annually, but people are getting only 2.78 kg. So, work is on to introduce new species of sheep, the minister said.
 
‘Permission based on circular’
When contacted, a senior Forest department official said that they would have to go through the circular first. He pointed out that the national parks of Bandipur, Nagarahole, Bannerghatta, Kudremukh and Anshi could not be opened for grazing. It could only be permitted in some wildlife sanctuaries, depending on settlement rights in individual forests when they were notified.

“After we receive the circular, permission will be given on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

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