Man-animal conflict: MLAs want shoot-to-kill nod

Man-animal conflict: MLAs want shoot-to-kill nod

The MLAs said the man-animal conflicts had increased in the recent years

Representative image. Credit: iStock photo.

The legislators on Thursday demanded the government’s permission to shoot wild boars that stray into human habitation, besides seeking compensation for crop loss caused by animals. 

The MLAs, representing constituencies situated close to forest areas, said the man-animal conflicts had increased in the recent years.

With animals straying into farms in search of food, farmers were suffering huge crop losses, they said during a Zero Hour discussion in the Legislative
Assembly. 

The issue was raised by Sagar MLA H Halappa, who said arecanut crops were being destroyed by wild boars in his region. “We want permission to shoot boars. At present, shooting boars is a punishable offence. This is causing problems for farmers who are unable to defend themselves,” he said.

Adding to Halappa’s description of the problem, Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, who represents Sirsi, said the problem persisted across Malnad region.

“Permission to shoot animals is a different thing. But farmers need to be given compensation for crop loss,” he told the government. “All year long, farmers work hard for crops, only to see it destroyed. This menace is leading to crop loss of paddy, sugarcane and banana,” he said. 

JD(S) state president H K Kumaraswamy (Sakaleshpur) said his constituency, too, faced a problem from elephants. 

Several legislators narrated the experiences from their constituencies. They said the problem was not just limited to Malnad region, but in other places close to forests, too.  A similar situation was prevalent in Kolar, said MLA Roopa Shashidhar. “Farmers are facing tough times financially as it is. On top of it, crops are being destroyed by elephants, leaving them at a loss.”

Malavalli legislator K Annadani said his constituency was surrounded by three forest ranges, including the MM Hills range. “We are facing a problem with leopards, elephants and wild boars. When we talk to the RFOs, they plead helplessness and tell us that they do not have vehicles to rescue the animals,” he said. 

Forest Minister Aravind Limbavali said there was an existing provision for compensation for crop loss in such instances. In some places it was pending and would be resolved soon, he said. There is a demand to hike the compensation by 15%, which is being examined, he said. “I will call for a meeting of all MLAs from affected regions and ensure that measures are taken to resolve the issue.”