The Forest Department on Wednesday set up a special task force to look into a spate of complaints about celebrities illegally possessing wildlife body parts and submit a report within a week.
The task force committee is headed by the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and comprises the chief conservator of forests of the Bengaluru, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga circles as well as deputy conservators of forests from Bengaluru Urban, Tumakuru, Koppa and Shivamogga.
The Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 not only bans the hunting of wild animals but also prohibits trade, purchase and possession of wildlife artefacts.
Those violating the law face stringent provisions and up to seven years in prison.
The committee has been tasked to inquire into all the complaints and check with those possessing the body parts about any permits they have for the same.
At the same time, the committee will look into the complaints of wildlife law violations and recommend measures for better enforcement of the law.
A senior official told DH that the committee will serve notice, hold inquiries and conduct raids if necessary to look into the complaints.
“The committee’s work will create awareness against possession of wildlife parts, helping conservation activities,” he said.
(Published 25 October 2023, 23:51 IST)