Wildlife forensics is a field of forensics that is utilised for illicit wildlife trade trafficking, identifying criminals, and identifying wildlife items in trade. It is concerned with the collecting of evidence when crimes against animals are committed.
The wildlife trade is expanding fast in India. Although China and Southeast Asia are the primary user markets for these creatures, wildlife is also transported to the Gulf, Europe, and Northern America. Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar are the other nations that supply these animals in addition to India.
Wildlife crime is described as any violation of any local, foreign, or international legislation pertaining to wildlife preservation, management, protection, and commerce.
Types of Organized crimes for an animal in India
The types of organized crimes that take place in India are:
In the ferocious marketplaces, the animals and their body parts are utilized for a variety of uses. These purposes may include:
- Making exotic medicines
- For the pleasure of animal collectors
- On the demands of clothiers and fashion designers
- Fancy cuisine lovers
Indian wildlife species and products commonly smuggled out of the country are:
- Tiger (26% of illegally traded wildlife products from India are from tigers)
- Leopard skins, their bones, and other body parts
- Rhino horns
- Elephants’ tusk used for ivory and their hairtail
- Turtles and tortoises
- Sea horses
- Snake venom
- Mongoose hair
- Himalayan Black Bear’s bile
- Musk Deer
- The fur of Jackal and Wolf
- Tibetan antelope
- Otter skin
Wildlife Forensic and Conservation Genetic Cell (WFCG)
The Wildlife Forensic and Conservation Genetics (WFCG) Cell was founded by combining the Wildlife Forensic and Conservation Genetics Laboratories in order to properly execute India’s Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
Indian Legal Provisions against Wildlife Crime
The Indian Constitution, Article 48A
This article establishes the fundamental concepts of State policy. It specifies that the state would work to maintain and develop the environment, as well as to protect the country’s forests and animals.
The Indian Constitution, Article 51A(g)
Fundamental obligations are enumerated in Article 51A(g) of the Indian Constitution. It is said that it is the responsibility of every Indian citizen to maintain and develop the natural environment, which includes forests, lakes, rivers, and animals. Every citizen must have compassion for all living things.
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
To maintain ecological and biological security, the Act provides for the protection of the country’s wild animals, birds, and plant species. Many animal species are prohibited from being hunted under the Act. The Act was last updated in 2006.
The Wildlife Protection Act has six schedules. These are the schedules:
Schedule I addresses endangered species that require strict protection. Severe penalties are imposed for violating any of the laws listed in this Schedule. Hunting of the animals described in this section is illegal unless there is a threat to human life. Species are given absolute protection under this category. Tigers, blackbucks, Himalayan Brown Bears, brow-antlered deer, blue whales, common dolphins, cheetahs, clouded leopards, hornbills, and Indian Gazelle are among examples.
Schedule II contains a list of animals. Animals on this list are also given special protection; trade is restricted, and hunting is prohibited unless there is a threat to human life. Kohinoor (insect), Assamese Macaque, Bengal Hanuman langur, Large Indian Civet, Indian Fox, Larger Kashmir Flying Squirrel, Kashmir Fox, and more species are examples.
Schedules III and IV are for species that are not listed as endangered. Although the species named here are protected, the punishment for any infraction under this schedule is less severe than under the previous two categories. Examples include hyenas, Himalayan rats, porcupines, flying foxes, and Malabar tree toads.
Schedule V comprises hunting animals. Also known as vermin. Such as; Mice, Rat, Common crow, Fruit bats, etc.
Schedule VI contains plants that are forbidden from cultivation. These are Pitcher plant, Blue vanda, Red vanda, Kuth, Beddomes cycad, Ladies Slipper Orchid, etc.
Wildlife Crime Control Board
The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau was founded on September 4, 2006, by amending the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, in order to administer the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and to reduce the number of wildlife crimes. It began operations in 2008 and has its headquarters in Delhi. It has offices all around the country.