The State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) of Kerala is reportedly going to ask permission from the Centre to use deer antlers in Ayurvedic medicine.
According to a report in The Hindu poet Sugathakumari who attended the meeting said that the board chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan decided to approach the National Board for Wildlife and the Ministry of Environment and Forests to make "suitable amendments" to the Wildlife Protection Act so that antlers could be used in medicines.
This was despite objection by some board members over fear that deer may be hunted for the antlers.
The report in The Hindu quoted a wildlife specialist as saying that all three species of deer found in the state -- spotted deer, sambar and barking deer -- shed their antlers after the breeding season, and the proposal was made a few years ago to collect the antlers that were shed.
The SBWL was reconstituted recently to implement projects related to wildlife, and the meeting on Tuesday was the first one.
While, according to The New Indian Express, the board was reconstituted to protect and conserve wildlife and plants and harmonise "the lives of forest dwellers with conservation activities," a quick look at its agenda says otherwise.
The report says that the board is not only going to seek permission for the use of deer antlers, but also seek clearance for the proposed Kochi-Salem LPG pipeline by BPCL/IOC through the Peechi Wildlife Sanctuary and the construction of a dry-dock near the ecologically sensitive Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary in Kochi.
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