Firing dart at Avni in absence of vet illegal: NFSA

Kaumudi Kashikar Gurjar
Wednesday, 7 November 2018

However, Asgar Ali claims dart was prepared by a registered veterinarian

 Pune: Taking objection to the alleged absence of any veterinarian when the tigress T1 or Avni was shot dead on Friday night, National  Veterinary Services Association (NVSA) has written a letter to the Chief Wildlife Warden, claiming that absence of a veterinarian is breach of Indian Veterinary Council Act, 1984; Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1945; Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. 

Nawab Shafat Ali Khan, the private shooter, while speaking to Sakal Times said that when the locals called up the base camp at Ralegaon post 6 pm, all veterinary officers and others had returned back. Khan told Sakal Times that Principal Chief Conservator of Forest AK Mishra sent five members including his son Asgar Ali Khan,  Forest Ranger Mukhbir Shaikh and forest guards to the bazaar place of Ralegaon taluka near Borati village close to Pandharkavda to avoid any untoward incident as the Supreme Court’s order stated no further human loss should occur. Asgar Ali Khan, who shot the tiger, claimed that the dart dose was prepared by a veterinary doctor though he was not present at the time of the incident. Contrary to what his father told Sakal Times, Asgar Ali claimed that a veterinary doctor was present at the base camp at the time of the incident. 

The association has its presence in 24 states of the country. The association claimed the alleged act of darting and shooting done by a private hunter was extremely unscientific and illegal. The association claimed that under Drugs and Cosmetics Act,1945 and Narcotic & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, Schedule H and X drugs used for tranquilisation of big cats can be handled only by registered professionals. The association said in the letter that the act has stringent provision to punish unauthorised  persons found possessing, handling or administrating such drugs. 

The association President Dr Chirantan Kadian told Sakal Times that the drug administration is the sole authority of registered veterinarians. Kadian claimed that if a veterinary doctor needs shooting expertise of a hunter he may get the job done under his supervision. 

The letter sent to Chief Wildlife Warden mentions that the order issued on September 10 by CCP Yavatmal states that the responsibility of tranquilisation of Avni and her cubs was entrusted with private hunter Shafat Ali Khan. President Chirantan Kadian said that as Khan is not a registered veterinarian, it is in direct violation of Indian Veterinary Council Act. 

The association claimed the order issued on September 10 mentions the presence of two veterinarians as part of the team but the field reports published in a section of the media indicate absence of  veterinary practitioners.  

Kadian objected to reports stating that Asghar, the son of Shahfat Ali Khan prepared the dart and shot the tigress. Kadian said in his letter that it was unlikely  that the shooter may have had waited for the drug to work.

Khan said Forest Ranger Mukhbir Shaikh fired a dart in order to tranquilse T1 but as the tigress charged at the open jeep carrying the five-member patrolling team, his son Asgar Ali had to fire a bullet at the tigress to avert further human loss.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) AK Mishra could not be reached due to low cellphone connectivity at the area where Mishra is currently stationed.

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