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With reference to Indian laws about wildlife protection, consider the following statements:

  1. Wild animals are the sole property of the government.
  2. When a wild animal is declared protected, such animal is entitled for equal protection whether it is found in protected areas or outside.
  3. Apprehension of a protected wild animal becoming a danger to human life is sufficient ground for its capture or killing.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 3 only

Explanation

The correct answer is b) 2 only.

  • Statement 1 is incorrect. As per the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, wild animals are not the sole property of the government. The Bombay High Court has ruled that wild animals including tigers should be treated as “government property for all purposes”.
  • Statement 2 is correct. The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 provides equal protection for wild animals irrespective of whether they are found in protected areas or outside.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect. As per the Wildlife Protection Act, a protected wild animal can only be captured or killed if it poses danger to human life. Mere apprehension that it may cause danger is not sufficient ground.

Learn more:

  • The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is the key law for protection of wildlife in India. It has 6 schedules that provide varying degrees of protection.
  • Schedule I and II provide absolute protection and offences can lead to imprisonment up to 7 years. Schedule I has species like tiger, rhinos, elephants. Schedule II has species like leopards, bears, crocodiles.
  • Schedule III and IV species can be hunted under permit. Schedule V species like rats, crows can be hunted freely.
  • The Act also provides for setting up of National Parks and Sanctuaries for protection of wildlife.
  • It established authorities like Wildlife Advisory Board and post of Chief Wildlife Warden to regulate wildlife conservation.
  • The Act also regulates trade in wild animals, animal articles and trophies.

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