Wildlife Crime Control Bureau HQ inaugurated

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New Delhi, Jan 22 (UNI) The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, set up last year on the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force, today got its own place to work from.

It was earlier functioning from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The bureau, a multidisciplinary agency consisting of officials from forests, police and revenue (customs, excise) would work for increased awareness among international tourists to reduce demand for wildlife and its products.

As part of the strategy for a coordinated universal action in combating organised crime, strengthening of the enforcement at the international trade exit points would get emphasis as the major demand for the wildlife and its products lies in overseas markets.

It is also mandated to advise policy changes, if any, based on the information/data on crime and criminality.

The Cabinet had approved the constitution of the Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau (Wildlife Crime Control Bureau) on June 31, 2007, based on the enabling provisions made in the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

Inaugurating the office premises of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau Headquarters, Secretary, Environment and Forests Meena Gupta called for forming a good network of private sector and state and central government bodies to check wildlife crime.

''Today we realise that Government cannot do everything but it can become very effective if we tie up with other organisations and share information with others,'' said Ms Gupta.

Dangers to wildlife came from borders so the Bureau had to be more vigilant in these areas, the Secretary added. She also suggested installing a hotline so that people could access the Bureau in time of need.

On this occasion, a manual for enforcers on Red Sanders, a tree species that is endemic to southern India, listed on Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) was released by Mr P R Mohanty, Director General of Forests and Special Secretary to Government of India.

The field forensic facility at Bureau Headquarter displayed the scientific identification of Shatoosh fibre, a banned wildlife fibre of 'Chiru'- a tibetan antelope, other goat fibres which are commonly used, banned gastropod shells and some of their products traded; tiger, leopard fur, hair, claw identification and their fakes; some of the endangered medicinal plants like Kuth roots, Sarpgandha; ivory and bone articles; some of the endangered marine species; and the identification manuals on Mollusca (shells), Fishes, Reptiles and Amphibians.

UNI NAZ MS AS1846

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