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The Wildlife Act

Plan To Amend The Wildlife Act:

In December 2021, the Union environment ministry announced a plan to amend the Wildlife Act.

  • The Act has been amended several times, in 1982, 1986, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2006 and 2013.
  • The proposed amendment is likely the most expansive so far in scope: it covers more areas of legislation, from trade in wild species to permitting filmmaking in protected areas and controlling the spread of invasive species.
  • The Bill increases penalties for wildlife crimes. For example, offences that attracted a fine of Rs 25,000 now attract Rs 1 lakh.
  • There’s a new and separate chapter on regulating species involved in international trade according to the CITES treaty.
  • The Bill prohibits possessing, trading and breeding species without prior permissions from CITES authorities.
  • The Bill also recognises threats that invasive alien species pose.

The Wild Life Act provides for:

  • state wildlife advisory boards,
  • regulations for hunting wild animals and birds
  • establishment of sanctuaries and national parks
  • regulations for trade in wild animals, animal products and trophies
  • judicially imposed penalties for violating the Act
  • Harming endangered species listed in Schedule I of the Act is prohibited throughout India.
  • Hunting species, like those requiring special protection (Schedule II), big game (Schedule III), and small game (Schedule IV), is regulated through licensing.
  • A few species classified as vermin (Schedule V), may be hunted without restrictions.
  • Wildlife wardens and their staff administer the act.

An amendment to the Act in 1982, introduced a provision permitting the capture and transportation of wild animals for the scientific management of the animal population.

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