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WILDLIFE TRADE

29 Dec 2017
Lok Sabha


3033. JYOTIRADITYA MADHAVRAO SCINDIA
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:-

(a) whether the country has a strong legal and policy framework to regulate and restrict the wildlife trade;
(b) if so, the details thereof?
(c) the number of wildlife traffickers involved in smuggling of body parts of tigers and leopard and other wild animals arrested in the past three years across the country and awarded imprisonment;
(d) whether the illegal wildlife trade has increased in the country in the past few years resulting in threat to biodiversity and conservation of wildlife; and
(e) if so, the details thereof and the concrete steps taken/being taken by the Government in this regard?

MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE (DR. MAHESH SHARMA)

(a) & (b) Yes, Madam. The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 is the legislation governing and regulating the Wildlife trade in the country. India is also signatory to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) since 1976 which regulate International Trade on wildlife.
:
(c) Number of wildlife traffickers involved in smuggling of body parts of tiger leopards and other wild animals arrested in the past three years based on the information provided by State authorities is as under:
2014  2015  2016
1430  615   372

The information pertaining to imprisonments awarded to the wildlife traffickers are not collated at the level of the Ministry.

(d) and (e) As per available records in the Ministry, no trend of increase in the incidents of wildlife trade across the country is noticed. The Government has initiated following steps and policies to curb the wildlife trade in the country:
i. Legal protection has been provided to wild animals against hunting and commercial exploitation under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

ii. Endangered species of animals including Tiger, Elephants, Lion, Rhino, etc are listed under Schedule –I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 thereby according them highest degree of protection.

iii. The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, provides for stringent punishments for wildlife offences. The Act also provides for forfeiture of any equipment, vehicle or weapon that is used for committing wildlife offence(s).

iv. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been set up with 5 regional offices to strengthen the control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and its products, by coordinating with the States and also with border and trans border authorities.

v. Protected Areas, viz., National Parks, Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves covering important wildlife habitats have been created all over the country under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to conserve wild animals and their habitats.

vi. As member of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES), India’s Export-Import Policy also provides for compliance of CITES in international trade. Other member countries also exchange information on any illegal wildlife trade attempts.