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Mitigation of Human Animal Conflict and Illegal Pet Trade in West Bengal, India

Campaign by KAWIF-KOLKATA ANIMAL WELFARE INDIAN FOUNDATION

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Story

The density of animals, be it, community, farm or wild animals, due to the presence of innumerable rivers and streams along with the human population in West Bengal, India, demands a responsible and active organization to deal with a number of pressing issues like animal cruelty, illegal pet trade, human-animal conflict, spreading of awareness regarding the importance of wildlife conservation and educating the citizens regarding the same. The illegal trade in Indian and exotic birds, turtles and other wildlife, along with dogs and cats that carries on in this state with impunity requires immediate attention. Even though snakes are protected under The Wildlife (Protection) Act, of 1972, they are often captured from the wild, especially in the rural areas of these districts and used in “charming” shows and festivals, which causes them to suffer tremendously. Besides these, innumerable stray dogs are victimized on the streets and subjected to unbearable torture and random culling by human beings. The dogs are either poisoned or beaten to death with iron rods and sticks, hung by the neck, burned or buried alive. Also, there is an alarming rise in dog bestiality cases these days. Such problems need to be addressed and mitigated as soon as possible. A lack of government infrastructure for animals and inadequate knowledge and awareness regarding animal welfare among the people especially in the rural areas made us choose these districts at the earliest. Since the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017 are not been properly implemented, rather no official notification has been issued by the government yet, there are numerous cases of abandonment of animals. Even the SPCAs are not working actively and hence, there is no proper body to address these issues. Thus, the setting of the SPCA is essential to deal with the illegal pet trade, both in wild animals dogs and cats.

The aim of this project is to spread conservation awareness by educating the citizens of West Bengal, India, on the importance of animals, to reduce the crime and cruelty to both, community and wild animals, to prevent habitat destruction and secure them, to curb the illegal pet trade and as a result reduce the human-animal conflict. The methodology of the project is stated as under:

  1. Organize planned campaigns to spread awareness among the masses regarding the importance of community animals and the conservation of wildlife in the selected districts
  2. Conduct first aid training programs to guide the people regarding how to administer first aid to animals in need
  3. Conduct capacity building and sensitization programs with various stakeholders which would ease our path while responding to animal cruelties and confronting the human-animal conflict (especially human-snake conflict and human-dog conflict)
  4. Conduct awareness programs on the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 to educate the citizenry
  5. Rescue animals in need in the selected districts and provide necessary training to our volunteers related to the rescue of animals in need
  6. Facilitate the setting up of the District Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the proper implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017 through the State Animal Welfare Board
  7. Conduct a survey of pet shops in the selected districts to address the issue of illegal trade in animals along with preparing consolidated reports of violations, taking complaints to relevant authorities, ensuring action against pet shop owners and rescuing and rehabilitation of animals

The objective of our project is to minimize human-animal conflict and educate the masses regarding the importance of animals to maintain the ecological balance over a period of 3 years. 

The future impact assessment is discussed as under:

a. The widespread killing of snakes and other forms of wildlife crime, and torture on the strays along with pet dogs will be under control to a greater extent with the help of the sensitization programs and awareness camps with various stakeholders.

b. Planned response during emergencies would help save the animals in need and rehabilitate them.

c. A change in behaviour among the masses regarding the importance of animals and conservation of wild animals for the benefit of the ecosystem would be evident after the numerous training programs and as a result, the human animal conflict would be reduced to a greater extent.

d. Numerous illegal pet shops would be taken down and the lives of innumerable animals would be saved.

e. Common practices like monkey dance and snakes used in charming shows would be under control and abolished.

f. The basic infrastructure, i.e., the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals which has been envisioned as the first line of defence for animals in distress will be made functional and thus, its core activities would be carried out.

g. This project can prove to be a model district project.

Organisers
KAWIF-KOLKATA ANIMAL WELFARE INDIAN FOUNDATION

KAWIF-KOLKATA ANIMAL WELFARE INDIAN FOUNDATION

Beneficiary Charity

Arya Paul

Arya Paul

Organiser

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