Maneka hisses at Nilgai culling, Javedkar says it's fine

After 200 nilgai or blue bulls were shot in Bihar in just the last six days, union minister Maneka Gandhi, known for her strong stance in favour of animal rights, said that the survival of an endangered species has been compromised. But environment minister Prakash Javadekar says the permits to shoot the animals are valid till 30 November in Bihar's 39 districts.

 
A nilgai, also known as blue bull  

"For the first time, a massacre of this scale has been allowed. The environment ministry is writing to all states asking for a list of animals whose killing should be sanctioned, and promising to allow that," said Ms Gandhi.

The Bihar government had asked the Centre to allow professional shooters accredited by the Centre to kill nilgai because acres of crops were being destroyed in areas where they exist in large numbers and regularly stray onto farms growing crops like wheat and pulses.

Like the nilgai, wild boar have been labelled 'vermin' to justify their killing.

"Laws require that if a state says its farmers are being adversely impacted, the Centre's acquiescence is required, and the sanction (to kill) has limited validity," the environment minister said.

Neeraj Kumar a  leader from Bihar's ruling party, the Janata Dal United, who organized a licensed hunt in the Mokama district, said, "The blue bull menace was destroying farmers year after year.  This is needed."

Wild pigs can be shot in 10 districts of Bihar for the same reason, the Centre has ruled. Like the nilgai, wild boar has been labelled "vermin" to justify their killing.