Licence to kill?

By Mostafa Kamal Majumdar
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

The Bangladesh ministry of environment and forests has decided to grant licence to parties interested in setting up private farms for breeding and rearing wildlife species.

The recent decision by the Wildlife Advisory Board came as a happy tiding to those who have, over half a decade, struggled to obtain licence for lizard farms. Now there are proposals to set up deer and snake farms too.

But wildlife lovers are worried that permits for wildlife farms could be used as licences to start killing commercially valuable wild species indiscriminately.

Concerned authorities were initially hesitant to allow the setting up of wildlife farms as some interested parties seemed more keen on exporting lizard skin, froglegs and other wildlife products.

Of several arguments advanced in favour of the animal farms, one was the lack of scientific information about different wildlife species in the absence of proper observation facilities, which the animal farms are sup- posed to provide.

Experts, however, are not fully convinced that wildlife farms will be commercially viable. Crocodile farms In India and Thailand have become tourist attractions. Crocodile meat is considered a delicacy. Out them is an international ban on crocodile skin export. The same is true for lizard skin - one of the most sought after wildlife products.

Abdul Wahab Akand of the Wildlife Circle, department of forests said, a three-year licence may be granted to farms for 'conservation' of species under pilot projects, A committee would oversee their progress.

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