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Peacocks: Indian State Proposes Peacocks Are Vermin

Feb 16, 2016 05:05 PM EST
Peacocks may soon be termed vermin in Goa, India, making it easier for them to be hunted and culled.
(Photo : Flickr: Koshy Koshy)

India's national bird, the peacock, may soon be considered vermin in the state of Goa, as many people feel the colorful birds, like monkeys and wild boars, cause severe agricultural damage. Listing them as vermin or a "nuisance animal" will ultimately make them easier to cull

"We have listed several wild species including wild boar, monkey, wild bison (Gaur), and peacock as nuisance animals," Goa's Agriculture Minister Ramesh Tawadkar said in a statement. "These animals are creating (a) problem for farmers and are destroying their cultivation in rural areas."

The proposal to reclassify the majestic bird comes just weeks after Goa's legislative assembly ruled that the state's beloved coconut trees, which previously had federal protection, were not in fact trees, but palms because they lacked branches, according to the Guardian

As India's national bird, peacocks are protected under the country's Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Listing the animals as a nuisance, however, counters that protection and allows for the animals to be culled or removed in large quantities. 

"Goa seems to be trying to... (have) India's national bird labelled this way so that they may be hunted and killed," Poorva Joshipura, CEO of India's People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), told AFP. "If Goa wants to remain on the tourist map, people expect it to be a paradise for animals too."

Unfortunately, shrinking forest cover in Goa has left wildlife with nowhere to go, which is why they have been seen encroaching on human habitat and wreaking havoc on farms. 

As a result, Minister Tawadkar formed a committee to assess the peacocks' impact, along with that of other pests, including monkeys, wild boars and wild bison -- Goa's state animal. 

"Time has come to classify some of these animals as vermin. Monkeys and wild boar regularly destroy fields," Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar concluded.

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