Farmers in Himachal Pradesh welcomed Central government's verdict to allow the culling of wild animals.
Provoking strong reactions from Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, the Environment Ministry declared the Rhesus Macaques monkey "vermin" in ten districts in response to the dilemma of locals and farmers.
Districts which will recognise monkeys as vermin are Chamba, Kangra, Una, Bilaspur, Shimla, Sirmour, Kullu, Hamirpur, Sonlan and Mandi.
Section 11 of Wildlife Protection Act
Section 11 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, empowers the chief wildlife warden of a state to permit "any person" to "hunt" a protected wildlife animal, in case the wild animal becomes "dangerous to human life or to property (including standing crops on any land)".
The Rhesus Macaque menace
The wildlife wing of the forest department pegged the monkey population in Shimla at 2,500, also leading to the increase in monkey bites.
The state of Himachal Pradesh complained about the large-scale agricultural destruction caused by these species in areas outside of forests.
Children skip school and women cannot take care of themselves as they have to protect their fields against wild animals.
What angered Maneka Gandhi
Blue bulls, or nilgai, were declared vermin in Bihar in December and wild boars were classified as vermin in Uttarakhand in February, a month before monkeys were declared vermin in Himachal Pradesh.
11 Jun 2016
Monkeys declared vermin
The Environment Ministry categorized the Rhesus Macaque monkey "vermin" in Himachal Pradesh, allowing culling to regulate their population for period of one year.
Wild animals that cause harm to crops, farm animals and game, or those that carry diseases are considered to be "vermin".
Himachal Pradesh reported damage to life and property, causing government to mitigate the damage to human life, crops and properties.