Let’s not be wild to the wildlife (Bangladesh)


Shkeh Md. Muhibbullah, The Daily Star

Date Published

IT’S a sad reality that wild-animal rights are grossly violated throughout the world. Aggression like hunting for skins, trophy, uncured trophy, bones, and tusks means that several animal species are vanished. For providing safety and conservation of forest, wildlife and biodiversity the government has enacted Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act in 2012.

Present scenario of wildlife trafficking in Bangladesh
Though wildlife trafficking is strictly prohibited under this Act as an offence, a growing number of seizure of wild animals and birds over the last five years shows that poachers and smugglers are using Bangladesh as a route for wildlife trafficking point. During this period DoF (Department of Forest) and law enforcing agencies recovered 21,506 live wild animals, including tiger, deer, bear, turtles etc. [The Daily Star, 6 October 2015, ‘Wildlife trafficking sees sharp rise in Bangladesh’]
The following acts are made punishable under this Act as an offence:
*    Hunting wild animal without a license,
*    Transferring wild animal, meat, or uncured trophy part of wild animal  through gift, sale, without registration certificate,
*    Entrance into sanctuary (an area where capturing, killing, shooting or trapping of wildlife is prohibited),
*    Importing and exporting  wild animal without cites  (the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora) certificate or license,
*    Killing tiger, elephant , cheetah, lam cheetah, hoolock, samber deer, crocodile, gharial, whale or dolphin etc,
*    Killing birds or migratory birds,
*    Abetting and instigating such offences,
Killing wild-animal for saving life
The right to private defense is respected under sections 36 and 37 of the Act. Though killing tiger, elephant cheetah and crocodile etc. is punishable offence under this Act, but when a person is attacked by wild-animals causing threat to life of such person, and such animals are killed for saving life, he commits no offence under this Act.
Obtaining license is mandatory
If any person desires to cultivate, extract, manufacture, rear, export or import any wild animal or part of its body, meat, trophy, uncured trophy or any plant, or hunt any wild animal; he must obtain license from the Chief Warden or any officer authorised by him. Such license shall be valid for one year subject to renewal in every year. The person rearing an wild animal must register it through warden officer provided that the provisions shall not apply to any person traditionally possessing any trophy or memorial of wild animal from the past. However, such person needs to declare his possession of any trophy or memorial of wild animal to the Chief Warden or Warden or Upazila Forest Officer.
Any Officer, under this Act, may seize the following articles or goods:
*    hunted, acquired or captured wild animals without license or animals reproduced from it during captivity;
*    dead or dying wild animals on account of accident;
*    such wild animals or parts thereof, trophy or uncured trophy, meat, part of body or any plant, or parts or derivatives thereof, not registered under this act or for which no license has been received; and
*    weapons, articles or tools use in committing an offence.
However, the provisions of this sub-section shall not be applicable in case of trophy of wild animal or memorials used as tradition, heritage or part of daily life of indigenous community.
We want proper enforcement of this Act to combat wildlife preservation and stop wildlife trafficking. In addition, special force of officials should be appointed to protect wildlife from being trafficked, destroyed or killed.