Living Animal Species (Reporting and Registration) Rules, 2024

News Excerpt:

According to the Union Environment Ministry's Living Animal Species (Reporting and Registration) Rules, 2024, those who own exotic pets such as macaws, cockatoos, and other soft-shell turtles must register them with the state wildlife department.

Key provisions mentioned in the Living Animal Species (Reporting and Registration) Rules, 2024:

  • It states that all persons possessing a living specimen of any of the listed animal species are required to apply for registrations of such possession within a period of six months from the date of commencement of these rules and thereafter within 30 of coming into possession of such animal species to the concerned State Chief Wildlife Warden, through the PARIVESH 2.0 portal.
    • These species are listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). 
    • ‘Animal species’ means any living specimens of any animal species listed in Schedule IV appended to the Act” which covers species under the Convention.
  • These rules do not apply to other wildlife that is already protected under the Wildlife Protection Act and cannot be kept in captivity.
    • Section 49 M of the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act 2022 provides for the registration of possession, transfer, and reporting of birth and death of living scheduled animal species listed in the Appendices of CITES and Schedule IV of the Act.
  • India is a party to the CITES, which requires that appropriate measures are taken to enforce the provisions of the Convention.
  • This registration requirement also applies to any transfer of the animals or birth of offspring from them, with the Rule prescribing the process for such registration.
  • Further, any transfer of possession and birth of offsprings of such specimen(s) shall also be registered, and death of such specimen(s) shall be reported to the concerned Chief Wildlife Warden through the PARIVESH 2.0 portal in accordance with these Rules.

Challenges regarding exotic species:

  • One significant challenge facing our ecosystems is the harmful impact of invasive alien species on native biodiversity due to accidental escapes.
  • The infiltration of exotic species poses a threat of zoonotic diseases due to a lack of disease surveillance.

Significance of the new regulation:

  • This rule will aid in monitoring accidental escapes by establishing accountability for both the owner and the Authority.
  • These rules and notifications indirectly regularlize/normalize the illegal acquisition of exotic species before the Wildlife Protection Amendment Act 2022 came into force.

Wildlife Protection Act 2022:

  • Appendix 1 of Schedule 4 of the Wildlife Protection Act 2022 has species of various bears and pandas, such as the Red Panda, various species of dogs, wolves, cats, apes, chimpanzees, gibbons, lemurs, squirrels, armadillos, various birds including Hornbills, Macaws, Parakeets, Owls, various reptiles among others. 
    • Appendix 1 of Schedule 4 contains endangered exotic animals and plants, and import rules are stricter for them.
  • The Wildlife Protection Act 2022 seeks better implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). 
  • It proposes to rationalise and amend the schedules that list out wildlife species to ensure better care of seized animals and disposal of seized wildlife parts and products, according to MoEFCC.

PARIVESH 2.0 portal:

  • Parivesh is a web-based workflow application designed for the online submission and monitoring of proposals seeking Environmental (EC), Forest (FC), Wildlife (WL), and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances
  • The portal operates on a role-based system, facilitating a streamlined process for proponents
  • Its primary objective is to serve as a “single window” solution, employing process automation and leveraging technologies like GIS and Advanced Data Analytics
  • This approach ensures expeditious, transparent, and effective decision-making while maintaining stringent environmental safeguards.
  • The government launched Parivesh 1.0 in August 2018 at the Central level and in August 2019 at the State level. 
  • From 2018 to 2022, a total of 33,533 projects were given clearances (EC, FC, WL, and CRZ), according to MoEFCC data tabled in Parliament in March 2023.

About CITES:

  • CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. 
  • It aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the species' survival.
  • CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN (The World Conservation Union). 
    • The text of the Convention was finally agreed at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington, D.C., United States of America, on 3 March 1973, and on 1 July 1975, CITES entered into force.
  • Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words, they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws. 
    • Rather, it provides a framework that is respected by each party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.
  • For  many years, CITES has been among the conservation agreements with the largest membership, with now 184 Parties.

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