- December 14, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject – Environment
Context – Recent trends suggest that smugglers of exotic wildlife species might be trying to take advantage of the advisory brought out by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to regulate the growing market of exotic animals in the country.
- The term exotic does not have a set definition but it usually refers to a wild animal or one that is more unusual and rarer than normal domesticated pets like cats or dogs.
- These are those species which are not usually native to an area and are introduced to an area by humans.
- With a complete ban on wildlife trade of Indian species, there has been a surge in demand in India, for exotic species from different parts of the world, noted the Smuggling in India Report 2019-2020, published by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
- Exotic animals are not listed under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which makes it difficult to convict the smugglers.
- ‘Exotic live species’ will mean animals named under Appendices I, II and III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora.
- Currently, it is the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, that oversees the trade of ‘exotic wildlife species’.
- The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is an organisation that is tasked with monitoring illegal trade.
Provisions Related to Illegal Trade of Animals
- Illegally traded exotic animals are confiscated under Section 111 of the Customs Act, 1962 which is read with the provision of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Foreign Trade Policy (Import-Export Policy) of India.
- Also, Sections 48 and 49 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 prohibit trade or commerce in wild animals, animal articles or trophies.
Advisory on Importing Live Exotic Animals
- Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued an advisory to streamline and formalise the process of importing live exotic animals.
- Many exotic species of birds, reptiles and amphibians are imported into India for commercial purposes.
- For import and disclosure of exotic animals and their progeny already in India.
- A person trying to import a live exotic animal will have to submit an application for grant of a licence to the Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- Earlier, these imports were happening though the DGFT but they were beyond the purview of the forest departments and the chief wildlife wardens were not aware of them.
- The importer will also have to attach a No Objection Certificate (NOC) of the chief wildlife warden of the state concerned along with the application.
- For those people who have already imported exotic animals, a declaration will have to be made within six months.
- However, if the declaration is made after six months, documents related to the provenance of the animal will have to be submitted.
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is part of a multilateral treaty that includes plant, animals and birds under varying categories of threat of extinction and which will be jointly protected by members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- India is a signatory to CITES.
10 Rare and Exotic Wildlife Species Found In India
- Greater One-horned Rhinoceros
- Asiatic Lion
- Snow Leopard
- Black Buck
- Lion-tailed Macaque
- Red Panda
- Kashmir Red Stag (Hangul)
- Indian Bison (Gaur)
- Asian Elephant