- The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2013 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on August 5, 2013. The Bill has been referred to the Standing Committee on Environment and Forests. The Bill seeks to amend the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. This Act provides for the protection and conservation of wild animals, birds and plants. It also covers the management of their habitats and regulation and control of trade or commerce linked to wild life.
- According to the government, India is a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and amendments to the Act are necessary for India to fulfil its obligations under the CITES. The key amendments made by the Bill are:
- The manufacture, sale, transport or use of animal traps except for educational and scientific purposes (with permission) is prohibited.
- Under the Act, destruction, exploitation or removal of any wildlife including forest produce from a sanctuary is not permitted, except with a permit. The amendment allows certain activities such as grazing or movement of livestock, bona fide use of drinking and household water by local communities, and hunting under a permit.
- Provisions to regulate international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora as per the CITES have been inserted. A schedule listing out flora and fauna for purposes of regulation of international trade under CITES has been added.
- The Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau has been changed to the Wild life Crime Control Bureau.
- The term of punishment and fines for commission of offences under the Act have been increased.
- The Bill protects the hunting rights of Scheduled Tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
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