Wildlife custodians in Himachal Pradesh had proposed an action plan to tackle the monkey menace by electrocuting, poisoning, shooting the simians, injecting lethal germs into them and subjecting females to hysterectomies.
The Union ministry for environment and forests has rejected the plan submitted by the wildlife wing of the state government and proposed its own alternative action plan. A senior ministry official described Himachal’s proposals as “outrageous and inhuman”.
The Supreme Court had last week directed states to reply to the ministry’s revised action plan for the control of stray animals, including monkeys, dogs, cattle and pigs, within four weeks.
A bench of Justices Y.K. Sabharwal, B.N. Srikrishna and P.P. Naolekar, hearing a batch of two public interest litigations, took on record the 46-page action-plan document to control monkeys first.
The document reveals that the Himachal wildlife wing’s plan called for sterilisation of male monkeys, surgical removal of the uterus of females, injecting lethal viruses and bacteria into the animals, poisoning them, injecting chemicals into them to render them infertile and permitting the shooting of monkeys.
The monkey population in Himachal is estimated to range from 60,000 to 200,000. The wildlife wing said orchards and farms should have electrified fences. It also proposed “export of monkeys” which, as a senior ministry official pointed out, is banned.