Killing wild animals will not mitigate crop damage - Minister Amaraweera | Daily News

Killing wild animals will not mitigate crop damage - Minister Amaraweera

Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that a proper study should be conducted on the scientific and traditional methods that help prevent crop damage.

The Minister said that a survey that was conducted during his tenure as the Agriculture Minister revealed that about 40 per cent of crops have been destroyed annually by wild animals such as parrots, monkeys, peacocks, wild boars, rock squirrels and porcupines.

Journalists recently asked the Minister if the Government issues firearms to farmers to protect crops from wild animals. He said that the farmers requested air rifles, but they did not receive them.

“We must introduce methods that can reduce wild animals’ breeding rather than killing them. New technologies such as electrical devices can be used to repel them. An electrical device was introduced to the farmers of Kahathewela, Bandarawela and it was a success. Traditional knowledge can also be used in this regard,” he said.

“The Government provides firearms to farmers who own over one hectare. The Grama Niladhari of the relevant area, the Divisional Secretary and the District Secretary must approve the issuance of such a firearm. Villagers are not allowed to kill animals just because those villagers have been given weapons,” he said.

“However, this method is a failure. Extinction of predators is the reason for the increase of the number of some animals. Deforestation and land grabbing also worsen the issue. Officials of the relevant institutions should introduce new technologies in this regard,” the Minister said.