India Updates Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill to Ensure Better Protection

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Wildlife-Protection-Society-of-India-(WPSI)Lok Sabha recently passed the Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill to regulate the international trade of certain species of wild animals and plants and to protect endangered species. This bill sets various guidelines and rules to ensure the safety and survival of animals and plants that are threatened due to illegal poaching, hunting or smuggling.

This bill was first introduced in December 2021 by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change. This bill amends the original Wildlife Protection Act implemented in the year 1972.

The Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill aims to expand the number of endangered species to more than 38,000 species as safeguarded under CITES. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora or CITES, is an international organization that deals with regulating the norms of international trade of specimens of animals and plants, without threatening them.

The older Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 had six schedules for specially protected plants (1), specially protected animals (4) and vermin species that carry diseases and destroy food (1). This amended bill passed in 2022, discontinues the schedule for vermin species and reduces the number of schedules for specially protected animals to two.

The bill allows the Indian government to set up an authority to grant import and export licenses for trading. The authority can use an identification mark for any specimen and it cannot be rectified by any person. People need to obtain a registration from the authority to possess any living species that fall under the schedule of specially protected animals.

Under this bill, the penalty for violations is INR100,000 and for violating restrictions related to specially protected animals is INR25,000. It also provides opportunities for people to hand over animals to the state authority that are found in the wild and it gives the government an option to implement conservative areas around sanctuaries to preserve the flora and fauna.

Source: Hindustan Times

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