India Revises Rules on Wildlife Trade after 40 years

  • 23 Jan 2024

India recently revamped its wildlife trade rules, last updated in 1983, with the issuance of the 'Wild Life (Protection) Licensing (Additional Matters for Consideration) Rules, 2024.'

Key Points

  • The new rules lay down the guidelines in licencing issues relating to captive animals, snake venom, trophy animals and stuffed animals.
  • Exclusion of Licensing Restrictions: The 1983 rules curtailed licenses for trading in wild animals listed under Schedule I or Part II of Schedule II to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • However, the new rules do not cover licensing requirements for Schedule II species and fears arise about possible negative implications of wildlife conservation.
  • Schedule II Concerns: Another issue conservationists are concerned about is the elimination of license restraints for Schedule II species consisting of many significant mammals, birds, turtles geckos snakes frogs and endangered animals.
  • Rationalization of Schedules: The schedule of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 was rationalized by an amendment in 2023.
  • Although Schedule II continues to house significant species, the lifting of licensing constraints causes speculations and even demands whether these are such risky animals that they should be protected similarly.
  • Pet Trade Impact: Wildlife trade, which includes the captivity industry, contributes to trafficking millions of wild animals every year.