Panaji: The Goa government will look into the demand of farmers to declare certain wild animals as vermin, state forest minister Vijai Sardesai said on Monday.
Several farmers from Sattari and Sanguem talukas of Goa have been demanding that animals like monkeys, wild boars and peacocks be declared as vermin (harmful and objectionable) as they were damaging crops, thus causing losses to them.
These animals cannot be killed as they are covered under the Wildlife Protection Act.
The farmers have demanded that these animals be declared vermin for a certain period of the year.
Sardesai said the government will look into the farmers’ demand and also study reasons behind these animals venturing into human habitats from the forest areas.
“We can’t run away from the issue of declaring certain animals as vermin. We have to address the issue as it is concerning the farmers,” he told reporters in Margao.
The increased plantation of Australian Acacia in forests is leading to wild animals migrating to human habitats “as these plants are not accepted by the animals”, he said.
“We need to replace the Australian Acacia with some local plant varieties,” he suggested.
The minister also said that the forest department’s scheme of compensatory afforestation was not picking up as there was “no place available” to plant new trees.
“We will have to address all these issues,” he added.
The Centre had earlier sought a report from states to declare certain overpopulated species as vermin for a limited period of time in a given area, if found damaging crops.
Once declared vermin, the particular species will not be covered under the Wildlife Protection Act, and can be hunted or culled without restriction.