July 19, 2018: World Animal Protection is extremely concerned on the reports that a formal request has been submitted to the Prime Minister of India to allow the culling of saltwater crocodiles in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This may set a dangerous precedent in India because the saltwater Crocodile is listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act and has the same level of protection as the tiger.
“World Animal Protection would like to emphasise that culling is not a solution and the government should look into regulating and monitoring tourist behaviour so that visitors to areas in the proximity of crocodile habitat behave responsibly to avoid accidents,” said Gajender K Sharma, India Country Director, World Animal Protection.
Culling of Saltwater Crocodiles in Andaman and Nicobar Should Not Be Allowed
World Animal Protection recommends that problem animals should be tracked, and relocated if necessary. There is abundant literature on humane tackling of crocodile human conflict and World Animal Protection is happy to provide this information to any authority that may require it to resolve the human crocodile conflict in Andamans. The government needs to prioritise public safety as well as the wellbeing of saltwater crocodiles.
“In the meanwhile, we urge utmost caution so that no provision in the Wildlife Protection Act is misused to unnecessarily kill wild animals,” Gajender added further.