Panaji, Aug 5 (IANS) Monkeys and wild boars that destroy farms and plantations in Goa must be declared vermin, Congress leader Pratapsing Rane said in the state assembly on Friday.
“We have to declare monkeys as vermin. I was told by the farmers that if they try to drive them, the monkeys pluck coconuts and hit them with it. Monkeys come in gangs and harvest coconuts. People are getting fed up and they want to give up agriculture,” said Rane, who is Leader of Opposition in the assembly.
“Wild boar is a profuse breeder. Even on my farm, I cannot plant a single coconut tree. If I kill one, the forest department will come and fine me. Next day it will be in the papers. If these animals come on a farm, they should be declared vermin because they are destructive,” Rane said.
In February, Goa’s Agriculture Minister Ramesh Tawadkar said that a process was on to declare peacock, bison, wild boar and some species of monkey as vermin because they were damaging crops and horticulture.
Declaring an animal vermin would mean that a farmer would be able to kill the species without inviting legal penalties.
Public pressure forced Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar to issue a retraction as regards peacock and bison, but the state environment and forest ministry has already begun a process of declaring wild boar and some species of monkey as vermin.