Monkey culling picks up in Himachal



Shimla: Despite a half hearted resistance by some animal loving groups from outside Himachal, the monkey culling in the hill state has picked up with more and more farmers applying for the legal permits (to be issued by the State Forest Department) to kill the simians. The farmers have also criticised the threat by some Punjab and Haryana based NGOs who have decided to go to the court against the monkey culling operation. The Kheti Bachao Sangharsh Samiti and Himachal Kissan Sabha have advised such NGOs to go to the court against the female foeticide happening in their states instead. “We are hopeful that the court would consider the sensibilities of thousands of farmers who are even forced to commit suicide nowadays instead of siding with some of these external aided NGOs”, said the farmers.

Thousands of farmers in the rural areas of the hill state had launched the operation culling of monkeys to save their crops, coinciding it with the International Human Rights’ Day on Friday. The farmers here have decided to initiate the mass culling programme by contributing money for the ammunition after the government programmes to check the simians population failed miserably. The farmers led by the Kheti Bachao Sangharsh Samiti and Himachal Kissan Sabha have procured legal permits from the State Forest Department to kill the wild animals causing loss to their crops and fruits.

“More than 3000 farmer families have managed these permits so far and would hunt the animals who are now fighting for the same resources with the human beings”, said the Samiti President Kuldip Tanwar. The vermin population has gone beyond the carrying capacity of the hill State and therefore the selective killings, he added.  The Kisan Sabha has demanded that human rights organisations should come forward and check this menace instead of forcing the farmers to pick up guns in the countryside. It has also demanded that the ban on export of monkeys should be lifted for the bio medical researches and the farmers should be made members of national and state wild life boards.

The government in its efforts so far has sterlised 23,000 simians out of a population of more than 4 lakh and had also established primate parks by throwing fresh fruits and plants there. Both measures have failed badly and had incurred a huge amount of expenses so far, said the Samiti. Monkeys and Nil Gai were declared as vermin by state government and permitted killings in the state. Farmers are launching mass monkey culling operation from Dec 10 to 20, 2010 in the state.

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