Ignoring criticism by animal lovers, farmers in Himachal Pradesh have killed over 50 monkeys in the past two days to save their crops, a member of a peasants' group said Sunday.
The Kheti Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (KBSS), a farmers' outfit that took the initiative to motivate farmers take up guns against wild animals, said that 'Operation Monkey' would continue despite criticism from animal protection groups.
'Since the start of drive (Dec 10) against the menace of wild animals, especially the monkeys, we have reports that the farmers across the state have shot dead more than 50 monkeys,' KBSS state convenor Kuldeep Singh Tanwar told IANS.
He said the monkeys were mainly killed in Shimla, Sirmaur and Hamirpur districts.
Contrary to Tanwar's claims, state Chief Wildlife Warden A.K. Gulati said: 'We have reports that only one or two monkeys have been shot dead in the past few days.'
'It's a routine killing as the government authorised the farmers to selectively kill monkeys, wild boars and blue bulls in case they are destroying their crops,' he said.
He said any farmer in the state could get the permission from the wildlife department to kill animals threatening the crop.
Full story here.