Wild Life (Protection ) Act, 1972

Introduction

The rapid decline of wild animals and birds in India has been a cause of grave concern. Some wild animals and birds have already become extinct in the country and others are in the danger of being so. Areas which were once teeming with wild life have become devoid of it and even in Sanctuaries and National Park the protection afforded to wild life needed to be improved. The wild Birds and Animals Protection Act, 1912 (8 of 1912) had become completely outmoded. The existing State laws were not only outdated but provided punishments which were not commensurate with the offence and the financial benefits which accrued from poaching and trade in wild life produce. An urgent need for introducing a comprehensive legislation, which would provide protection to wild animals and birds, was felt by the Government. But the Central Government had no power to make a law in this regards as the subject-matter related to entry 20 of the State list in the Seventh Schedule. Different State Legislatures also found that the State laws were not adequate to deal with the matter effectively. The Legislatures of the State of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal passed subject. Accordingly the Wild Life (Protection) Bill was introduced in the Parliament.

STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
The rapid decline of India’s wild animals and birds, one of the richest and most varied in the world, has been a cause of grave concern. Some wild animals and birds have already become extinct in this country and others are in the danger of being so. Areas which were once teeming with life have become devoid of it and even in Santuaries and National Parks the protection affordable to wild life needs to be improved. The Wild Birds and Animals Protection Act, 1912 (8 of 1912), has become completely outmoded. The existing State laws are not only outdated but provide punishments which accrue from poaching and trade in the wild life produce. Further such laws mainly relate to control of hunting and do not emphasis the other factors which are also prime reasons for the decline of India’s wild life, namely, taxidermy and trade in wild life and products derived therefrom.

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Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972

Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 1991

Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2002

Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006