Enthusiasts scramble to own trophies from the wild

Enthusiasts scramble to own trophies from the wild

Forest dept stumped by 500 applications for ownership certs for wild games

The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) has received more than 500 applications seeking ownership certificates for wildlife trophies. 

A few applicants have a passion to possess tiger and leopard pellets, tiger claws, whiskers, elephant tusks and deer antlers, which are banned under the Wildlife Protection Act. 

Some even go to the extent of stuffing the animals with the help of taxidermists to make them look alive to be exhibited at their homes. 

Those willing to possess wildlife trophies, however, must get the necessary permission from the Chief Conservator of Forests under the Wildlife Protection Act. At present, only persons having the ownership certificate in respect of Schedule I and Part II animals can sell or gift such articles, as per law. 

According to the authorities, the Union government had allowed individuals and organisations to possess trophies through a gazette notification issued on April 18, 2003. 

The notification had fixed a deadline of 180 days to apply from the date of notification and all the applications received across the country were cleared within the given time. 

Though the time to apply for trophies and other valuables of wildlife expired 13 years ago, more than 500 individuals and organisations have submitted applications to own trophies, making wildlife experts worried. A few of the applicants want to own trophies as a matter of pride and may purchase them from poachers, experts say. 

As the department received more applications, it had submitted reports thrice to the state government seeking extension of time from the Union government. 

The Centre, which reviewed the proposal submitted by the state on June 18, 2016, discussed the issue at a recent meeting of the National Board for Wildlife in Bengaluru and approved it. The Forest Department has now geared up to submit a report to the Ministry of Forests and Environment seeking extension of the same duly certified by it. 

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