Indian authorities have decided to end its tiger hunting programme and move to a more wildlife-friendly conservation approach, a ministry official said on Monday.
The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has announced the ban on tiger hunt in its wildlife conservation policy document, which is to be released by the government later this week.
“The decision is a very big step forward in conservation and will help reduce the number of wild animals killed annually,” said K P Venkatachalam, MoEFCC spokesman.
The ministry has announced that it will make efforts to “ensure conservation of wildlife in the country” and encourage “federally funded conservation programmes to be implemented”.
However, it has asked for a few years for an estimate on how many wild animals will be killed during the hunt, the official said.
The government, which has not released details on how the ban will be implemented, has also proposed a “sustainable” approach to the hunt which aims to reduce the “dangerous” use of the animal by the public.
The proposal also seeks to ban “the practice of trapping, hunting, shooting and killing wild animals” as well as “the sale and import of tiger products”.
The ministry, in its document, also proposed to give “tiger hunters the right to hunt on private land”, which would be followed by a ban on hunting on national parks.
It also said that the government will set up an office to work with the industry to create “safe hunting areas” for tigers.
The MoEFcc has also suggested that the hunting of tigers should be restricted to national parks and protected areas.
It is hoped that this will “make the hunt more appealing for tourists and help conserve the wildlife”, the official added.