The Kerala Government has approached the Union Government for allowing use of antlers of spotted deer and sambar of Ayurveda medicines.
In this regard, Kerala State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) under chairmanship of CM Pinarayi Vijayan has forwarded proposal to National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) and Ministry of Environment and Forests.
SBWL is seeking suitable amendments to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 for using the antlers for medicinal purposes.
What are Antlers?
Antlers are the extensions of the deer’s skull. There are three deer varieties deer, sambar, and barking deer having
antlers and are found in Kerala. They shed their antlers annually. It is believed that antlers have medicinal values and are mainly used for invigorating spleen, strengthening bones/muscles and boosting blood flow.
What is the issue?
The Kerala SBWL had approved a request from the state-run Oushadhi to collect and use antlers shed by spotted deer and sambars in zoos for preparing ayurvedic medicines. However, the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 prohibits (bans) sale and use of antlers in India. Tonnes of antlers are kept in the stores of Department of Museums and Zoos as the sale and use of antlers are banned. SBWL is seeking suitable amendments to the Wildlife Protection Act for using the antlers for medicinal purposes.
What Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 says?
The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, has included antler in the definition of wildlife trophy that may be whole or any part of any captive animal or wild animal. Section 39 of the Act prohibits person from acquiring or keeping trophies in his possession without the previous permission of Chief Wildlife Warden or the authorised officer. Wildlife and wildlife trophies are considered to be owned by the government. The Act prescribes imprisonment up to 3 years and a fine of Rs. 25,000 for offences involving wildlife trophies.