ITANAGAR, April 11 � Hunting of wild animals continues unabated in Arunachal despite constant campaigns against animal killing by several organisations and leaders.
Since time immemorial, hunting has been a traditional practice of indigenous people in the State. The message of Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, who has voiced concern over the rampant killing of animals, has had little meaning to the villagers who hunt seasonally as part of their traditions.
�The so-called traditional and seasonal hunting practices in the village level on the pretext of cultural rituals have been the impediments for the department to act effectively,� Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) BS Sajwan said.
He, however, admitted that since tribals were dependant on animals and forest resources for their sustainability, their traditional rights could not be curtailed. �Nevertheless, the attitude and approach of villagers can be changed through massive awareness campaign in villages and in schools with the help of the media.�
�Students and panchayat leaders need to be involved in the awareness campaign to disseminate the importance of wildlife in conservation of the ecology,� Sajwan said.
Admitting lapses in the functioning of the department, he said, �We have directed the department�s enforcement wing to be more vigilant and conduct surprise checking and regular raids in all markets within and outside the capital to control illegal sale of wildlife meat.�
He asked the deputy commissioners of all districts to make efforts towards preventing hunting and take extra care while issuing gun licences.
Deputy Conservator of Forest P Ringu said the modern hunting technique was more dangerous than traditional and it inflicted larger threat to the existence of wildlife. �In traditional hunting, villagers follow conventional methods by using bow and arrow, but in the so-called modern hunting, modern weapons are being used,� Ringu said.
�The present situation can only be stopped and checked if buyers and poachers are punished equally,� he added. � PTI