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Committee For Transfer and Import of Wild Animals in India

Mar 21, 2023

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Today we will discuss CCommittee For Transfer and Import of Wild Animals in India in our today's edition of Current Affairs. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus

For Prelims: General issues on Biodiversity

Transfer and Import of Wild Animals, Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in 1992, Project Tiger

For Mains: GS Paper III (Conservation)

Significant changes in the powers of the committee, Concerns for the captive wild animals in India, Indian Government Initiatives for Wildlife.


The Supreme Court has increased the jurisdiction and powers of a high-powered committee for the transfer and import of wild animals in India.

  • The high-powered committee, led by a former judge, is tasked with the procurement or welfare of wild animals by any rescue or rehabilitation center or zoo.
  • Earlier, only Tripura and Gujarat were included in the committee's purview.

Probable Question

Explain the challenges faced by the captive wild-animals in India. (150 words, 10 marks)

Significant Changes in the Powers of the Committee

  • Now, the Chief Wildlife Wardens of the States would be co-opted as members of the committee. The panel would look into all pending and future complaints on the issue.
  • The Committee may also consider the request for approval, dispute, or grievance, concerning transfer or import into India or procurement or welfare of wild animals.
  • All complaints in this regard can be forwarded forthwith to the High-Powered Committee for consideration and recommending appropriate action.
  • The court directed that State and Central authorities should “forthwith report seizure of wild animals or abandonment of captive wild animals to the committee.
  • The committee shall be at liberty to recommend transfer of ownership of captive animals or of seized wild animals to any willing rescue centre or zoo for their immediate welfare, care and rehabilitation.

Concerns for the Captive Wild Animals in India

Lack of Proper Facilities and Care 

  • Many of the captive wild animals are kept in inadequate conditions, such as small cages, which are not suitable for their physical and mental well-being. 
  • Moreover, these animals are often subjected to cruel treatment, such as being beaten, starved, or forced to perform unnatural acts. 

Commercial Exploitation of Wild Animals

  • Many animals are kept in captivity for the sole purpose of generating revenue, such as in circuses, zoos, and wildlife parks.
  •  These animals are often subjected to abusive training methods, which can result in chronic stress and physical injuries. 

Lack of Proper Enforcement

  • There are several laws and regulations in place to protect wildlife in India, such as the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, which prohibits the hunting and trade of endangered species. 
  • However, the implementation of these laws is often weak, leading to a lack of proper enforcement. 

Lack of Regulation

  • This has led to a proliferation of illegal wildlife sanctuaries and rescue centers, which often lack the proper facilities and expertise to care for these animals. 
  • Many of these centers are operated by individuals with little or no experience in animal care, leading to substandard conditions and care for the animals.

Indian Government Initiatives for Wildlife

Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in 1992

  • The CZA is a statutory body responsible for overseeing the management and regulation of zoos in India. 
  • The authority has set stringent guidelines for the care and management of animals in captivity and regularly inspects zoos across the country to ensure compliance.
  • The CZA has also established a system of accreditation for zoos, which involves a comprehensive evaluation of their facilities, animal care, and management practices. 

Wildlife Protection Act of 1972

  • The act prohibits the hunting and trade of endangered species and provides for the protection of wildlife in their natural habitats. 
  • The act has been instrumental in preventing the poaching and trafficking of wild animals, which are often captured and sold for commercial purposes.

Steps to Regulate the use of Elephants in Captivity

  • The government has also established guidelines for the care and management of elephants in captivity, which include provisions for their feeding, exercise, and medical care. 
  • The government has also banned the use of elephants for commercial purposes, such as circuses and rides, and has encouraged their use in ecotourism and conservation.

Project Tiger

  • Project Tiger aims to conserve and protect the endangered Bengal tiger. 
  • The project involves the establishment of protected areas for tigers and the relocation of villages and communities from their habitats to reduce human-wildlife conflict.

Way Forward

  • Regular initiatives for the well-being of captive wild animals in India are essential for the conservation of the country's rich biodiversity. 
  • It is imperative for the government and other stakeholders to continue their efforts to ensure the protection and welfare of captive wild animals in India.

News Source: The Hindu


Frequently Asked Questions

Are wild animals the sole property of the Government of India?

As per the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, any wild animal killed or wounded in defense of any person shall be government property. 

Is feeding wild animals illegal in India?

According to Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code, it is a cognizable offense to kill or harm any animal. Also, under Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code, criminal intimidation includes threatening or abusing people for feeding animals.

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