Wildlife Protection Act 1972 was passed on August 21, 1972, but was later implemented on September 9, 1972. This act prohibits the capturing, killing, poisoning or trapping of wild animals It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Prohibition of hunting
- Protection and management of wildlife habitats
- Establishment of protected areas Regulation and control of trade in parts and products derived from wildlife
- Management of zoos
What does this act include?
- Wildlife Protection Act 1972 (WLPA) prohibits the injuring, destroying and removing any part of a wild animals body
- In the case of wild birds and reptiles, the act also forbids disturbing or damaging their eggs
- WLPA is also against taxidermy,which is the preservation of a dead wild animal as a trophy, or in the form of rugs, preserved skins, antlers, horns, eggs, teeth, and nails
Punishments under the Act
Penalties for any violation under this act can be carried out by agencies like:
- The Police
- The Central Bureau of Investigation
- The forest department
- The customs
Charge sheets are filed by the Forest Department and other agencies who encounter violators, then usually hand over their case to the Forest Department.
Wildlife Protection Amendment Act 2002
This amendment for this act was made in 2002 but came into force in January 2003 and under it, the punishment for defaulters is harsher.
If someone is caught in the process of trade of animal trophies and other articles derived from wild animals they will be subjected to three years of imprisonment and/or a fine of Rs. 25,000/-
Wildlife Protection Amendment Act 2006
The act was amended in the year 2006 and its purpose is to strengthen the conservation of tigers and other endangered species by combating crimes against them through the special Crime Control Bureau.
The Wild Life Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2013
The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2013 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on August 5, 2013. The Bill has been referred to the Standing Committee on Environment and Forests. The Bill seeks to amend the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. This Act provides for the protection and conservation of wild animals, birds and plants. It also covers the management of their habitats and regulation and control of trade or commerce linked to wild life.
According to the government, India is a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and amendments to the Act are necessary for India to fulfil its obligations under the CITES. The key amendments made by the Bill are:
- The manufacture, sale, transport or use of animal traps except for educational and scientific purposes (with permission) is prohibited.
- Under the Act, destruction, exploitation or removal of any wildlife including forest produce from a sanctuary is not permitted, except with a permit. The amendment allows certain activities such as grazing or movement of livestock, bona fide use of drinking and household water by local communities, and hunting under a permit.
- Provisions to regulate international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora as per the CITES have been inserted. A schedule listing out flora and fauna for purposes of regulation of international trade under CITES has been added.
- The Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau has been changed to the Wild life Crime Control Bureau.
- The term of punishment and fines for commission of offences under the Act have been increased.
- The Bill protects the hunting rights of Scheduled Tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.