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India's Exotic Animal Captivity Rules



  Mar 07, 2024

New Rules for Exotic Wild Animals in Captivity in India



What are the new rules about?

The Indian government has introduced rules for owning and breeding exotic wild animals in captivity. These rules are established under Section 49M of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, to ensure better regulation and control over the possession and breeding of endangered exotic animals.

Why were these rules introduced?

The need for such regulations became evident after the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the risks associated with the illegal wildlife trade and the possibility of zoonotic diseases originating from wildlife markets. Countries around the world, including China and Vietnam, have taken steps to curb illegal wildlife trade and consumption. India’s new rules aim to regulate the possession and breeding of exotic wild animals to prevent potential health risks and protect endangered species.

How do individuals comply with these rules?

Anyone who owns an exotic animal species must apply for registration through the PARIVESH 2.0 portal within six months from the start of these rules. Additionally, within 30 days of acquiring an exotic animal, they must report this possession to their State Chief Wild Life Warden.

What animals are covered under these rules?

The rules apply to exotic animal species listed in the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) and included in Schedule IV of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. This mainly concerns highly protected animals worldwide.

What legal framework supports these rules?

The legal framework for these rules was established by the Wild life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2022, effective from April 1, 2023. This amendment requires exotic wild animal keepers to obtain a mandatory license for keeping and breeding animals listed in Appendix I of Schedule IV.

What was the amnesty advisory issued in 2020?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, India issued an advisory on June 11, 2020, offering amnesty to individuals possessing exotic live species protected under CITES. The aim was to encourage the disclosure of exotic animals owned by individuals to create a comprehensive database for government monitoring.

What is the significance of these rules?

Experts view these rules as a crucial step towards regulating the possession and breeding of exotic wild animals in India. They aim to prevent the exploitation of endangered species and reduce the risk of illegal trade, thus contributing to wildlife conservation and public health safety.

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