Goa might declare monkeys as vermin

Panaji, July 31 (IANS) The Goa government could soon declare monkeys as vermin, with Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai saying on Monday the simians damaging crops was a matter of concern.

It was discouraging farmers from raising crops, Sardesai told the Goa assembly during the ongoing monsoon session.

“I think the government is on its way to take a conclusive step on it. The forest (minister) and CM have thought about it. Something preventive needs to be done,” Sardesai said in response to a question by Sanguem MLA Prasad Gaonkar.

“Even if you use good varieties for yield, monkeys finish the crop beforehand. Support price is not a solution. It is a big issue in rural areas,” he said.

Over the last few months, the Forest Ministry had been undertaking surveys of agricultural crops damage and the recommendation made by the state wildlife board to declare the wild boar as vermin.

Wild boars and monkeys are common in the hinterland of the coastal state, a large part of which flanks the Western Ghats.

Former Agriculture Minister Ramesh Tawadkar had even called for declaring the national bird, the peacock, and the state animal, the Great Indian bison, as vermin but backtracked after a public uproar.

–IANS

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