Kerala farmers welcome nod to wild boar killing

June 19th, 2011 - 2:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 19 (IANS) Plantation owners in Kerala Sunday welcomed the state government’s decision to allow the killing of wild boars that destroy their tuber crop and banana plantations.

“Earlier, we were just mere witnesses to the damage caused by these animals, but now, with this rule, all those wild boars that create havoc can be tackled. We are yet to know the full details on how to go about this, but we are certain the forests officials will guide us,” said B. Jacob, a plantation owner near Peerumade in the hilly district of Idukki.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting Wednesday.

“This has been a long pending demand of the farmers, who have been at the mercy of these wild boars,” Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said after the meeting.

According to the 2006 census, the number of wild boars in the state is pegged at 60,940, which has risen considerably from 40,963 in 1993.

But several conservationists have opposed the move.

“Does that mean all enemies of mankind will be killed? As of now, it is quite known that the meat of wild boar is available. With this new rule, boar meat will reach more dining tables,” said eco-activist John Peruvanthanam.

“The need of the hour is to see that the farmers keep away from farming near forests, or change to crops that do not come under attack of wild boars,” he added.

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