Reason prevails over speciesist insanity, biocentrism triumphs over murderous humanism, another state declares war on those who wage war on wildlife, and extensional self-defense is soon to become official policy as the Maharashtra government declares that killing poachers will no longer be considered a crime after eight tiger deaths in the state this year.

The commitment is formidable and includes: recuriting 500 armed guards to patrol the four forest reserves of the Maharashtra state, an additional 523 new guards, and 100 new patrol vehicles. In addition, the state is amassing funds to be used as incentives to lure informers who can provide tips about smugglers and poachers.

This is moral progress, as now an Indian state, following the lead of African states, tacitly admits that pacifism is bankrupt — a death sentence for animals — and is therefore complicit in violence, the war on wildlife, and the planetary animal holocaust. Poachers today, and vivisectors tomorrow?


The Guardian, May 23, 2012

A tiger in India’s Corbett national park

A western Indian state has declared war on animal poaching, allowing forest guards to shoot hunters on sight to curb attacks on tigers, elephants and other wildlife.

The government in Maharashtra says injuring or killing suspected poachers will no longer be considered a crime.

Forest guards should not be “booked for human rights violations when they have taken action against poachers”, the Maharashtra forest minister, Patangrao Kadam, said on Tuesday. The state will also send more rangers and jeeps into forests, and will offer secret payments to informers who give tips about poachers and animal smugglers, he said.

India has about half of the world’s estimated 3,200 tigers in dozens of wildlife reserves set up since the 1970s. But illegal poaching remains a serious threat, with tiger parts sought in traditional Chinese medicine fetching high prices on the black market.

According to the Wildlife Protection Society of India, 14 tigers have been killed by poachers in India so far this year – one more than for all of 2011. The tiger is considered endangered, with its habitat range shrinking more than 50% in the last quarter-century and its numbers declining rapidly from the 5,000-7,000 estimated in the 1990s, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Eight of this year’s tiger poaching deaths in India occurred in Maharashtra, including one whose body was found last week chopped into pieces with its head and paws missing in Tadoba tiger reserve. Forest officials have also found traps in the reserve, where about 40 tigers live.

Tiger parts used in traditional Chinese medicine are prized on the black market, but dozens of other animals are also targeted by hunters across India. Rhinos are prized for their horns and male elephants for their tusks, while other big cats such as leopards are hunted or poisoned by villagers afraid of attacks on their homes or livestock.

Encounters are rare between guards and poachers, who generally hunt the secretive and nocturnal big cats at night, according to Maharashtra’s chief wildlife warden, SWH Naqvi.

“We hardly ever come face-to-face with poachers,” he said on Wednesday, predicting few instances when guards might fire at suspects.

Instead, he predicted that the state’s offer to pay informers from a new government fund worth about 5m rupees ($90,000) would be more effective in curbing wildlife crime. “We get very few tips, so this will really help,” Naqvi said.

Their moral and biological value far exceeds poacher scum.