The Environment Ministry’s declaration of some wild animals as “vermin” – thereby allowing their culling has spurred a debate on whether killing of animals can be considered ethical, profitable, or the need of the hour.
The following are arguments given FOR the culling :
a) Economic : Some wild animals are seen to transmit communicable disease to their domestic counter-parts which leads to a kind of en epidemic, causing loss of lives as well as economic loss. Ex : Bovine tuberculosis transmitted by Badgers.
b) Utilitarianism : Killing of these vermins would bring in greater good for a large number.
c) Structural : Prevent crop-raiding by adopting non-invasive measures, building fences has not been effective in the past. Culling remains the last resort.
d) Legally Guaranteed : Wildlife Protection Act clearly gives an exception for vermins exclusively.
Arguments against it :
a) Increase in population of a particular species is not driven by nature but by Human interference. (Using interbreeding, injections for hormonal dis balance to provoke for reproducing)
b) Ethical aspect : The method adopted to kill is against animal ethics and morally wrong.
c) Constitutional : Article 48 of the DPSP prohibits killing of wildlife, Article 51 (Fundamental Duties) prescribes protection of wildlife as one of the duties.
d) Intervening in a natural process may go against laws of nature.
e) May increase the incident of illegal trade and trafficking of the animals declared vermin.
The solution lies in bringing both the parties on board and an extensive debate happens on every minute aspect. While culling isn’t a solution, farmers economic condition cannot be overlooked. Alternative solutions may be looked for, to strike the balance between the two.