New Delhi :
In India, the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 provides for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants. Although its implementation and enforcement needs to be strengthened in order to stop incidents of poaching and trade of wildlife species in the country. Expressing dismay on the same, Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder of animal welfare helpline 'Wildlife SOS', said, “Such incidents confirm that poaching and trade of wildlife species goes on right under our nose in the country, despite having a strong legal framework that regulates and restricts the flow of wildlife trade."
His reaction came in the wake of a recent incident where a green vine snake and an Indian black scorpion was recovered from central Delhi’s Karol Bagh area. Both the species are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act. A police official said, "We received information about a man in possession of a snake and a scorpion and using them as means of entertainment at a crowded market area in Karol Bagh.”
"He was taken into custody and the Wildlife SOS was informed about the matter," the official added.
The green vine snake (Ahaetulla nasuta), also known as the common vine snake, is a slender and mildly venomous reptile found in South Asia. The reptile normally feeds on lizards, small birds, frogs and rodents. The Indian black scorpion is found in the Indian subcontinent and like all other genus of the Scorpionidae family, they possess venom with which they paralyze or kill their prey.
Satyanarayan added, "The Indian black scorpion and the common vine snake are both protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Both animals are currently under observation and will be released back into the wild once deemed fit.”
The Wildlife Protection Act extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir which has its own wildlife act. It has six schedules which give varying degrees of protection. The existing punishment for poaching under the Act is seven years in jail along with Rs25,000 fine.