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Sunday, July 5, 2015

TN Forest Dept contemplates permitting farmers to shoot wild boars !

Often in Cinemas, you would hear that ‘killing or injuring with the intention of self-defence’ is not a crime …. While that applies to human beings – can somebody harm an animal – even when it is about harm thyself ?

The wild boar (Sus scrofa), also known as the wild swine or Eurasian wild pig is a suid native to much of Eurasia, North Africaand the Greater Sunda Islands.  They are considered tough survivors and capable of breeding in large quantities.  Recently, two people were grievously injured after a herd of wild boars attacked them at Manachanallur near Trichy.   As they were travelling in a two-wheeler, a herd of wild boars crossed; the driver lost his control and hit some – in the melee, the boars attacked and injured them.   Locals chased away the herd, rescued and admitted them at  Manachanallur Government Hospital for treatment.

In Hong Kong, where the infiltration of wild boars has lately become a nuisance, two opposing solutions have emerged about how to deal with the hairy situation.  While one hunting club proposed to gun the pesky pigs down, another group argues that the creatures are cute and tells residents to “enjoy the chance encounter” when they meet the bristly beasts, which can weigh up to 450 pounds.  Going by the pedestrian sightings and media reports, the city could have hundreds or thousands of the critters—along with snakes, monkeys and feral cows—living in the steep hills that rise from the city’s densely populated neighbourhoods. And the boars, in particular, appear to be spending more time out of the woods and on the streets.

Back home, TOI reports that the Tamil Nadu Forest department is contemplating to permit farmers to shoot wild boars that stray into their fields.A decision on giving shooting rights to farmers with strict conditions, would be taken based on a study to be conducted by World Wide Fund (WWF). The study report is expected to be submitted within a week.  There have been complaints from farmers about herds of wild boar entering agricultural fields in Thondamuthur, Alandurai, Sirumugai and surrounding areas wreaking havoc on plantain and sugarcanes fields. Unable to contain the boars with traditional methods, the farmers have been urging the forest department to grant permission to kill them.

The District Forest Officer, Coimbatore Forest division is quoted as saying that they have been conducting the study on wild boars with the help of WWF. Together they have installed cameras in a few agricultural fields to monitor the movement of boars.  There are apprehensions that an order to kill boars could be misused.   The spokesperson of VivasayigalSangam told TOI that farmers would not misuse the order.“Our intention is not to harm these animals, but only to save our crops. If the forest department is worried that we might misuse the shooting order, they can depute their own staff to shoot the wild boars,” said their representative.

If you ever thought that fencing could prevent such raids by boars – it would be too costly to fence the entire field and to maintain such fences could cost more !In an unrelated incident, a man erected fence on the road, holding up the traffic. The man refused to clear way claiming that he acted in accordance with the Court Order. 

Traffic came to a halt for more than one-and-ahalf hours at Tiruvarur - Mayiladuthurai Ring Road on Sunday morning after a 59-year-old man put up a fence with stones and barbed wires across a portion of the road. Claiming that he has acted as per the Madurai bench of the Madras high court order, K Gopal, a resident of Nachiyarkovil near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district, refused to remove the fence till police reasoned with him about the order. As soon as police were informed about the vehicle pile-up on the stretch at 7am, the Nachiarkovil police rushed to the spot and found Gopal sitting on the road and blocking the traffic. When enquired, Gopal showed an interim injunction passed on June 19 by the Madurai bench of the Madras high court.

According to him, the National highways department had acquired 24,000 sqft land owned by him for the ring road project in 2009. Unsatisfied by the compensation of Rs.607 for one cent, Gopal moved the court seeking direction to provide Rs.1.20 lakh percent.While the case was subjudice, the highways department made another acquisition of 18,000 sqft for creating a roundabout on the ring road in 2010, which forced Gopal to knock at the doors of the court again against the acquisition.In this connection, the court passed an interim in junction. However, Gopal put up the fencing claiming that the court had given him a go-ahead to fence the land.

The argument between the Police and Gopal went on for a longtime with the latter refusing to remove the fence. Finally ,Gopal relented after the police explained to him.“The court did not rule to put up a fence on the land. It has passed an interim injunction. But he erected the fence. So, we removed the fence and cleared the traffic” said Nachiarkovil police inspector Balasubramanian.

Strange are the ways of people

30th June 2015.

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