Hubbali—In a two-day capacity building workshop, Humane Society International/India sensitized officers of the Forest Department at Hubbali, Karnataka on the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and the legal protection conferred to snakes.
The workshop also touched upon breaking the myths around snakes during the festival of Nagpanchami and the cruelty inflicted on snakes during this festival. The session also gave a practical, hands-on experience to officers on humane snake handling and rescue. This will equip officers responding to rescues with correct techniques of handling snakes using the right equipment.
“The capture and display of snakes is an offence under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Snake charmers take advantage of the demand for live snake worship during Nagpanchami,” said Sumanth Bindumadhav, wildlife campaign manager of HSI/India. “Weeks ahead of the festival, snake charmers capture the snakes, pull their fangs out, stitch their mouths shut and keep them in dirty, cramped baskets with no access to light, fresh air, food or water. We are happy to work with the Forest Department of Karnataka and the Hubbali’s Forest officers here to help prevent cruelty to snakes and celebrate a cruelty-free Nagpanchami using snake idols made of mud or clay.”
HSI/India has launched an animal welfare program in Hubballi. In June, HSI/India conducted a first aid training for pet parents and citizens of Hubballi.
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