Panaji, Oct 12 (IANS) Wild Boars may soon be periodically culled in Goa as the state wildlife board on Wednesday recommended to the National Wildlife Board (NWB) that the species be declared as vermin.
Speaking to IANS, Environment and Forests Minister Rajendra Arlekar said the state wildlife board’s recommendation followed numerous petitions by farmers who, he said, blamed repeated forays by herds of wild boars for damage to their crops and plantations.
“The state wildlife board has recommended to the NWB to cull wild boars in specific geographical areas and over specific periods of time because they destroy crops. The Board will scrutinise our recommendation and take an appropriate decision,” Arlekar said.
In May this year, Goa’s Agriculture Minister Ramesh Tawadkar had said that along with the wild boar, the national bird peacock, and the state animal the Great Indian bison, should also be declared as vermin, along with specific species of monkeys, because of the damage they cause to agricultural and horticultural crops.
After public uproar following Tawadkar’s statement, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had gone on record to say that the peacock and bison would not be declared as vermin, but also added that other species which damage crops could be branded as vermin, after due processes by the state Forest Ministry.
Over the last few months, the Forests 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 was a product of this due diligence by the Arlekar-led ministry.
Wild boars are common in the hinterland of the coastal state, a large part of which flanks the Western Ghats. Wild boar meat, though contraband, is commonly served in homes and eateries flanking the forest areas.
Arlekar, however, said that if the NWB gives the go-ahead, adequate safeguards would be ensured so that culling of the wild boar population is not indiscriminate.
“The culling will be allowed only in specific areas of the state and over defined periods of time,” Arlekar said.