Lecture - 23
Legal aspects of capture and restraint
[FL] In today’s lecture let us have a look at the Legal aspects of capture and restraint. (Refer Slide Time: 00:20)
So, in this lecture we will have a look at different laws of the country and how they relate to the capture and restraint of wild animals.
(Refer Slide Time: 00:32)
So, we have seen that capture and restraint of wildlife is an integral part of contemporary wildlife management. So, what are the acts that govern the structure of wildlife? The first one is the Indian Forest Act of 1927. Now in this act it defines what do we mean by a forest produce and a forest produce includes wild animals and their skin tusks and other parts and all other the parts or produce of the animals.
So, essentially if there is any wildlife that is there in the forest it is a forest produce. If you are taking it out then those the sections of the Indian forest act will also apply. Then the acts prohibited; so, hunting, shooting, fishing, poisoning of water, and setting of traps, and snares. Now when we see hunting, then hunting involves a number of other activities that we will soon come to.
Shooting, fishing, poisoning water or setting up of traps and snares; now, these are the things that is normally used to capture wildlife. So, all of these are governed by the Indian Forest Act. Killing or catching of elephants; when we do not have the Elephant Preservation Act in areas where we do not have the Elephant Preservation Act in place.
But then this act the section also permits any act done by the permission in writing of a forest officer or under rule made by the state government. So, essentially all of these activities are prohibited, they are not banned. Now the difference between banning and prohibition is that; if something is banned you can never do it, in case something is prohibited then there are a certain sections that would permit you to do those act under certain circumstances. So, all of these things are prohibited they are not banned. (Refer Slide Time: 02:22)
Next we have the power to make rules for the protected forest. So, the government has the power to make rules for regulating hunting, shooting, fishing, poisoning of water, setting of traps, and snares. Basically everything that we look that in the previous section, the state has the power to make rules regarding those. If there is somebody who contravenes these acts or against whom there is a reasonable suspicion that he or she has contravened the provisions of the act, then there is a power arrest without warrant.
So, essentially all of these sections are cognizable sections, all of these offences are cognizable offences. Now the difference between a cognizable and non-cognizable offence is that; in the case of a non-cognizable offence you need to have a warrant from an executive officer or from judicial magistrate to arrest the person. In this cases there is a power to arrest without warrant.
So, typically those offenses that are very light in nature; so for instance, there was somebody who was there in the marketplace and then he shouted something foul to me. So, such an offence it is an offence because that person has done me some harm, some level of mental distress has been given to me by shouting but those offenses will be a non-cognizable offence. So, if I want to get that person arrested there has to be a warrant for arrest. But in the case of offences that have a more graver outcome: for instance, rape or murder or things like that these come under the category of cognizable offences. So, you do not require a warrant you will directly go and arrested person. So, all of these offences are cognizable offences.
Next, the forest officers and the police officers have the power to prevent commission of an offence. So, we can take actions even before an offence has been committed. Then there is a presumption that the forest produce belongs to the government and as we saw before the wild animals and their produce are forest produce so all of those belong to the government.
And persons are bound to assist forest officers and police officers then they have entered into the forest areas. So, basically if there is a researcher that has entered into our area for immobilizing of an animal for any research purpose then that person is bound to help us to detect or prevent any offences that might go on in the area so this is what the Indian Forest Act says.
(Refer Slide Time: 05:01)
Now the Indian Forest Act was not specifically made for wildlife. So, because of that we had another act so Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and this would deal with the aspects of wildlife in much greater detail as compared to the Indian forest act. Now, in the case of wildlife protection act section 2 tells about the animal article which is any article that made from any captive or wild animal other than vermin.
Vermin are those animals that we have specifically declared in schedule 5 of the act. that these are those animals that that we can get rid of and there are very small number of animals that are included there. Now, if you look at the definition of hunting under the Wildlife Protection Act, it includes killing or poisoning or any attempt to do that. Capturing, snaring, strapping, baiting or any attempt to do that, disturbing the eggs or nest of birds, then it also talks about meats.
So, meat also includes blood, fat, and flesh of any animal. So, basically if somebody is taking out any tissue samples, then that person is taking out meat of an animal out of the protected area. Then weapon includes firearms, hooks, nets, poison, snares, trap, or any instrument or apparatus capable of an anaesthetizing, decoying, destroying, injuring, or killing an animal. So, basically if you look at the wildlife protection act the definitions are very wide. So, hunting also includes things like capturing or trapping of an animal. Hunting also includes things like chasing of an animal out there in the forest area.
Similarly when we have weapon, so anything that is used to capture and animal or that has and ability of anaesthetizing an animal decoying, destroying, injuring or killing animal is a weapon. So, anything that we use to capture the animal whether it is an immobilizing gun, whether it is a dart gun, whether it is a firearms, whether it is a hook, or net, poison and this poison also includes, the drugs that we are using on the animals, snares, traps, and any other instrument or apparatus all of these come in the category of weapons. So, an immobilizing gun is a weapon under this section and also any device that we are using to trap an animal is a weapon.
(Refer Slide Time: 07:23)
Next is zoo includes rescue centers. Now, section 9 is very important it prohibits hunting. Here also it is important to note that section 9 prohibited hunting it does not ban hunting because hunting is permitted in under certain circumstances.
(Refer Slide Time: 07:37)
So, hunting of wild life will be permitted under certain cases and who is going to give the permission; is the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state. Now, the Chief Wildlife Warden may if you satisfied that any wild animals is specified in schedule one has become dangerous to human life, or is so disabled or diseased as to be beyond recovery, by order in writing and stating the reasons therefore, permit any person to hunt such animal or cause animal to be hunted.
Provided that no wild animal shall be ordered to be killed unless the Chief Wildlife Warden is satisfied that such animal cannot be captured, tranquilized or translocated and provided further that no such captured animal shall be kept in captivity unless the Chief Wildlife Warden is satisfied that such animal cannot be rehabilitated in the wild and the reasons for the same at recorded in writing. So, basically section 11 gives a lot of protection to the wildlife.
So, there is an animal that is there in schedule 1 and most of our endangered species are in schedule 1. So, for instance, tiger is a schedule 1 animal, elephant is a schedule 1 animal and so on. So, if there is a schedule 1 animal it can only be hunted if the Chief Wildlife Warden gives a permission in writing and also giving the reasons and only under certain circumstances, when it becomes dangerous to human life. Now it is important to note that here it is only human life, if it is doing any amount of property damage then it cannot be hunted.
So, for instance, if there is an elephant that normally raids the crop fields of farmers nearby it cannot be hunted because it is only destroying a property, it is not destroying or it is not yet dangerous to the human life. But is that animal comes out and kills human being then when Chief Wildlife Warden if necessary me give it the permission. The other reasons are that the animal is so disabled or diseased as to be beyond recovery then this animal can be hunted down.
Now in this case the Chief Wildlife Warden also needs to be satisfied that the animal cannot be captured tranquilizer, translocated. So, even in the case of the elephant that has come out and has killed a few human beings; our first option will be to capture tranquilize and translocated this animal. So, you take it out of this forest and put it into some other forest. So, we need to avoid hunting of these schedule 1 animals as much as possible and whenever they are being captured or translocated it should be in a way that.
So, that it causes minimum trauma to the animal. Now this was in terms in the case of schedule one animals now in the case of animals in other schedules other than schedule
5, so it includes schedule 2, 3, and 4. Then, if the wild animal has become dangerous to human life or to property including standing crops or any land or the other conditions are the same.
So, essentially schedule 1 animals are given an extra protection they can only be hunted when they are dangerous to human life. The other animals can be hunted when they are dangerous to human life or to the property including crops and land. So, if the elephant was not a schedule 1 animal then it could be possible to hunt it when it is destroying crops. Next we have grant of permit for special purposes.
(Refer Slide Time: 11:16)
Now the Chief Wildlife Warden will also grant permit to hunting for purposes including education, scientific research, scientific management and scientific management it means translocation of animals from one place to another, population management of wildlife without killing or poisoning or destroying. So, essentially if you have a population that is over abundant, you cannot just go and till that those animals to reduce the population in the name of population management because, population management says categorically without killing or poisoning or destroying any wild animals and also collection of specimens also things like snake venom or life-saving drugs. Now, all of these things have another category here let provided no such permits shall be granted in respect of any wild animal specified in schedule 1; again we note that schedule 1 is more is the most important animal, except with the previous permission of the central government.
So, in the case of schedule 1 animals even if you are giving these permissions there has to be a letter from the central government.
(Refer Slide Time: 12:21)
And in respect of any other wild animal except with the permission, except with the previous permission of the state government. Next if there is a scientist who wants to get into a protected area then there is a restriction of entry for those people. So, no person other than a public servant on duty or a person who has been permitted by the Chief Wildlife Warden or the authorized officer to reside within the limits of the sanctuary shall enter or reside in the sanctuary and in accordance with the conditions of the permit granted under section 28.
So, essentially not everybody can get into a protected area especially a sanctuary and in the case of national parks, they also have all of these is provision that are applicable to those by a another section. Now every person as so long as he resides in the sanctuary is bound to do certain things which include help in the forest officers or the police officers to stop any offences, so the person is required to reporting the offences, the person is required to help in the extinguishing of any fires and so on.
(Refer Slide Time: 13:24)
Next is the grant of permit so whenever the Chief Wildlife Warden is granting permit for scientific research, photography, tourism, and so on. Then he may put up certain conditions and you may also require the payment of certain fees for the granting of these permits.
(Refer Slide Time: 13:43)
Next section 29 says destruction etcetera in a sanctuary prohibited without a permit. No person shall destroy exploit or remove any wildlife including forest produce from a sanctuary or destroy or damage or divert the habitat of any wild animal. Now when we say destruction in a sanctuary, again this term is very wide. So, like when we saw in the case of pitfall traps that that these trap require you to predict certain structures in the ground.
And though these are temporary structures and when you take them off then these structures are going to leave a mark there in the sanctuary. So, even that could be considered in the destruction of the habitat. So, essentially whenever you are doing anything in a protected area special sanctuary and national park. You need to have clear cut permissions from the Chief Wildlife Warden or from the authorized officer.
Now when we see authorized officers in most situations the Chief Wildlife Warden has delegated the powers both of these powers to the to the field director of the national park or the wildlife sanctuary. So, essentially you can even take permissions from the field director, but only in those cases where the act specifically says the Chief Wildlife Warden or his designated officer. In certain situations, it just says the Chief Wildlife Warden only so in those cases this power cannot be delegated, the definition of destruction is very wide.
(Refer Slide Time: 15:15)
Now, section 30 says prohibition of entry into sanctuary with a weapon. Now as we saw earlier in the case of section 2 in the case of definitions weapon includes a number of things; it includes a tranquilizer gun, it includes an immobilizing gun, it includes any of the traps, or snares on nets, that you can use to capture a wildlife. So, even entry into the park with any of these weapons is prohibited except with a previous permission in writing of this chief wild life warden or the authorized officer. So, basically if somebody gets into a natural park and states that I am having this net, but I have not captured a wildlife so far.
So, it does not mean that the person will be exonerated because in terms of section 30 even entry into the sanctuary with that net is prohibited. Next we have then only use of injurious substances section 31; which may cause injury to or endangered any wildlife and this includes chemicals and explosives and other substances. So, basically when we see this section it also includes all of our drugs that we are using because they may cause injury to or endanger wildlife. Next we have control of sanctuaries the Chief Wildlife Warden shall be the authority who shall control, manage, and maintain all the sanctuaries and take such measures in the interest of wildlife as he may considered necessary for the improvement of any habitat.
(Refer Slide Time: 16:35)
So, essentially outsiders do not have any rights in these areas, but the Chief Wildlife Warden has all the authority to take any steps that he or she may find necessary for the improvement of the habitat of the animals. Because after all if this authority and this responsibility is rested on the chief wildlife warden.
(Refer Slide Time: 17:02)
Next section 34 states Registration of certain persons in possession of arms. So, if there is any person who is deciding in or within ten kilometers of any sanctuary and is holding a licensed arm then he or she needs to register so that these arms are not used for poaching of wildlife under any circumstances. Next we have a declaration of national parks now, this section 35 also states that destroying exploiting or removing of any wildlife including forest is not permitted damaging or destroying or diverting the habitat is not permitted except under and an accordance with the permission granted by the chief wildlife warden.
(Refer Slide Time: 17:33)
And no such permission shall be granted unless the state government being satisfied in consultation with the national board that such removal of wildlife from the national park or change in the flow of water into or outside the national park is necessary for the improvement and betterment of wildlife there in authorize the issue of such permit.
Now, in the case of national parks we have an added layer of protection that the Chief Wildlife Warden will only grant this permissions when the state government is satisfied and not only the state government has to be satisfied it has to be satisfied in consultation with the national board. So, essentially you have taken the matters to the central government.
(Refer Slide Time: 18:21)
Now, the provisions of section 27 and 28, 30 32 both inclusive and closes a, b, and c of section 33 and 33 A and section 34 shall apply as far as may apply in relation to a national park as they apply in relation to sanctuary. So, essentially all the protection that was given to a sanctuary are also applicable to a national park. Next we have recognition of zoos wild animals to be a government property.
Refer Slide Time: 18:44)
So, wild animal or their meat or any trophy is government property. (Refer Slide Time: 18:52)
And if, now this class is important any person who obtained by any means the possession of government property shall within 48 hours of obtaining such possession report it to the nearest police station or authorized officer and shall, if required, handover such property to the officer in charge of such police station or such authorized officer as the case may be. So, basically if you come in the possession of any government property and here government property means animals, the wild animals their trophies their meat or any such things.
If you, by any means, come into possession of this government property you need to reported within 48 hours to the nearest police station and maybe, even if required, handover such property to the officer in charge. And no person shall, without the previous permission in writing of the Chief Wildlife Warden or the authorized officer acquire or keep in his possession or control or transferred to any person whether by way of gift sale or otherwise or destroy or damage such government property. So, basically if you have come into possession of any government property, any of these trophies or meat or skin then you can only give it back to the government, you will be need to reported to the police station and hand it over there. You are not authorized to keep it with you to give it to any other person whether by gift or sale or anything and you are not even authorized to destroy or damage this government property otherwise it would be considered as an offence. Next section 48a restricts the transportation of wildlife without prior permission and section 62 declares certain wild animals to be vermin.
Now, in case of section 62, the central government made by notification declare any wild animal, other than those specified in schedule 1 and part 2 of schedule 2, to be a vermin for an area and for such period as maybe specified there in and so long as the notification is in force such wild animal shall be deemed to have been included in schedule 5. Now, in the case of schedule 5, there is a provision that these animals can be hunted.
Refer Slide Time: 20:59)
The next act that will consider it is The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960. (Refer Slide Time: 21:05)
Now, it says, duties of the person in charge of the animal. So, any person who is having a charge of the animals need to follow these provisions. You cannot treat an animal cruelly, you cannot give it unnecessary pain or suffering. Now, this is not only applicable to the wild animals, but it is also applicable to the domestic animals.
Refer Slide Time: 21:23)
You cannot administer any injurious drug or injurious substance to any animal, you cannot convey or carry this animal whether in a vehicle or anything else and subject to unnecessary pain or suffering, keep it confined in a cage or any receptacle which does not measure sufficiently in height, length and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement, keep the animal for an unreasonable time chained or tethered, failed to provide such animal with sufficient food drink or shelter, you cannot abandon this animal under circumstances in which it will suffer pain by reason of starvation or thirst. If this animal is suffering from any contiguous or infection diseases you cannot let it loose. You cannot mutilate this animal you cannot kill this animal.
Refer Slide Time: 22:13)
And this is important solely with a view to providing entertainment, confined or cause to be confined and any animal including tying of an animal as a bait in a tiger or other sanctuary so as to make it an object or prey to any other animal. Now, this section has been a bit controversial because at times people have used this section to state that no animal can be used as a bait for capturing of any other animal. So, essentially when you are trying to capture a leopard that has become involved in human wildlife conflict you cannot tie a goat to capture this animal.
But then this section 17m, it clearly states; solely with a view to providing entertainment confines or causes to be confined any animal including tying an animal as a bait so as to make it as an object of prey for any other animal. So, why does it state like this? Because in the earlier times there were situation in which people used to tie a buffalo in a reserve or a sanctuary. Now when there is a buffalo or a calf that is tied somewhere then the predator would come there and hunt this animal.
And this was done solely to provide entertainment to the people who are coming there to the tourist who were coming to visit this park and to see how this predator is hunting the animals. Now, solely for the purpose of entertainment this cannot be done, but otherwise if you are using an animal as a bait, for any other purpose it is permitted under the prevention of cruelty to animals act 1960.
Refer Slide Time: 23:49)
Then experiments on animals are regulated, there is a committee to control and supervise experiments on animals. It also has some duties and responsibilities. (Refer Slide Time: 23:57)
Then there is a power to prohibit experiments on animals and then there are rules.
Refer Slide Time: 24:01)
That are made under these which are prevention of cruelty, capture of animal rules 1972 and transport of animal rules, to deal with the transport of monkeys. Now, why is this important because in a number of situations we have observed that monkeys are getting into human wildlife conflict. So, essentially there are certain temples in which monkeys have been venerated for a number of decades because in India, people consider monkeys as to be related to the lord Hanuman.
But if these animals are getting into conflict and if the government wants to transport these monkeys away from residential areas or from these temples around it into the forest areas then even these monkeys have protection. So they cannot be confined into smaller cages, they cannot be we just put inside this smaller cages in a large number and then translocated. You need to be extremely mind put that these monkeys are also animals who have a sense who can suffer, who can suffer from pain, and other discomfort.
So, whenever these monkeys are being translocated for any reason then this transportation has to be done in a comfortable manner. So, this is about the prevention of cruelty to animals act. Next we have the arms act of 1959, now here also section two deals with the definitions and when we look at the definitions of arms and firearms.
Refer Slide Time: 25:26)
Then we can see clearly that the two things; one arms includes firearms and immobilization guns are firearms as per the definition. So, essentially immobilization guns are firearms and because firearms are included in arms. So, immobilization guns are both firearms and arms. So, the provisions of this act are completely act applicable whenever we have using the immobilization guns Now, in certain areas the rules have been relaxed a bit, but in general, you require license for the possession of firearms and ammunition.
(Refer Slide Time: 26:07)
You cannot have more than three firearms at any time. Then the manufacturer, sale etc. of these arms and ammunitions required a license and also import and export of these arms and etcetera are required a license.
(Refer Slide Time: 26:22)
And then there is power to prohibit import and export of arms by the central government and also a power to restrict or prohibit the transportation of arms. Next we have the provisions of the Indian Electricity Act 2003. Now why is this provision important? Because in a number of situations we have observed that there are people who perform hunting of animals using electricity.
Refer Slide Time: 26:48)
So, what they would be doing; if there is a high tension wire so suppose this wire is scanning 11 kV of a electricity, these people would just put up some pegs on the ground and then take a GI wire, pass it like this and then leave it like this. So, when you do any such activity, this 11,000 volts that was there in the high tension wire is now brought down. So, all this wire is now having a potential of 11 kV and now if there is any animal and if there is suppose a water body somewhere there and this animal is using this path to go to the water body so as soon as the body of this animal comes into contact with the wire here. So, the 11 kV line and this the legs of the animal are connected to the ground. So, when this animal comes here then this 11 kV potential of the wire and this is ground, so this is having a 0 volt potential. So, this potential difference of 11000 volts will result in a massive jolt of electricity that goes from the body of this animal and this animal would die.
Now, this process of electrocution is being used by some people to hunt for smaller animals. Similarly electricity is also being used to hunt fishes. So, people would just put up this electric wire into the pond and then pass a high voltage of current through it. So, all of these activities are regulated and in a number of cases even banned under the Indian Electricity Act 2003.
Refer Slide Time: 28:32)
So, section 135 talks about tapping or making or causing to be made by any connection with overhead underground or underwater lines or cable; so this is all prohibited. (Refer Slide Time: 28:44)
And if there is any accident that occurs, including the loss of human or animal life or injury to human or animal life. Then the person needs to give a notice of occurrence and of any such loss of or injury actually caused by the accident in the form to the electrical inspector of the area. So, that is the Indian Electricity Act.
Refer Slide Time: 29:04)
It is not very much applicable in the case of our immobilizations, but it is important to note that if you are using electricity for any immobilization of or any capturing of animals, then these rules also need to be taken into account. Now, the important act that we need to deal with, when immobilizing animals, is a Indian Veterinary Council Act of 1984. Now in this act section 2 is definitions. So, it says that veterinary medicine means modern scientific veterinary medicine in all it is branches and includes veterinary surgery and obstetrics. So, it includes a number of things and the term veterinary medicine. Now in the case of section 30, it says rights of persons who are enrolled on the Indian veterinary practitioners register they can hold office and they can practice veterinary medicine.
Now, why is this important? Because if you are immobilizing an animal then you are giving some drugs to the animal so, you are practicing veterinary medicine on that animal. Now you can only do that if you are enrolled on the Indian veterinary practitioners register so, essentially you have a license to practice. So, any person cannot just go and administer the immobilizing drugs or anesthetics to any of the wild animals and also to any other animals but because we are dealing with wildlife conservation, whenever anybody is going into the forest area and is trying to immobilize an animal he or she needs to have a license of practice under the Indian Veterinary Council Act of 1984.
Refer Slide Time: 30:37)
And then it also says that other regulations under the regulations 17(4) of the Veterinary
Council of India, standards of Professional Conduct Etiquettes and Code of Ethics for Veterinary Practitioners Regulation 1992 will be used. Now, it says that a veterinarian shall use any drug prepared under standard pharmacological principles and shall adopt all necessary preparations and precautions like sterilization and verification does as a normally prescribed for that drug.
Now it also means that expired medicines cannot be administered on the wild animals unless the veterinarian things that he or she has taken suitable precautions that have been taken to overcome any loss of potency of these drugs.