The Environment and Forest Ministry may not allow Himachal government to trans-locate monkeys to three Northeastern states–Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
Shimla: “Trans-location of monkeys from Himachal to other states is not the solution to curb the monkey menace,” the ministry said in its communique to Mumbai-based animal rights NGO, Humane Society International (HSI), which had protested and brought the HP government’s move to the notice of the ministry.
The state government, with a view to curbing resentment among farmers in the wake of failures to check monkey menace in the state, had contemplated to transport monkeys to other states.
The state Wildlife Department was even holding bilateral talks with the government of these three states on the issue.
Talking to The Statesman, Chief Wildlife Warden, HP, S S Negi said that the government is still in bilateral talks with Northeastern states on trans-location of monkeys. “We have no knowledge of the ministry’s stance.”
It may be mentioned that the Humane Society International (HSI) had objected to the move on translocation of monkeys, contending that it would only aggravate human-monkey conflict.
It had also written to the HP government in this regard.
The NGO had argued that there are lethal effects of capture, caging and a long journey from Himachal Pradesh to Northeastern Indian states on the monkeys and the move needs to be reconsidered.
The HIS had said, “It is now widely recognized by wildlife veterinarians that every wild creature that is the subject of translocation or rehabilitation release must not be regarded as a single animal. But rather as a package containing an assortment of potentially dangerous viruses, bacteria, protozoa, helminths and arthropods, any of which may become pathogenic in new situation involving stressed individuals in a changed environment”.
The NGO had even suggested to the Wildlife Department to opt for sterilization of monkeys using immuno-contraception, a method that was being pursued by the Wildlife Institute of India.
The immuno-contraception method employs the immune system of an animal to create contraception.
The proposal of the state government was already in soup as the Nagaland government had requested the government to provide habitat to elephants in the state in lieu of relocation of monkeys in the Northeastern state.