Schools will no longer be allowed to use wild animals or plants and display them in laboratory or museums.
Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, a statutory body of the central government, has banned the use and display of animals and plants in schools after finding some schools and colleges illegally possessing them.
From now, schools will need special permission to possess such animals or plants.
As per a recent directive issued by the bureau’s additional director Shyam Bhagat Negi to all universities, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), there were complaints that some schools and colleges illegally had trophies of wild animals in their laboratories and museums.
The CBSE board had warned schools in November 2010 and May 2012 against using endangered animals as specimens.
Schools cannot use or exhibit animals and plants mentioned in the scheduled lists of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, such as frogs, snakes, hamsters, guinea pigs, reptiles, corals and pitcher plant or any parts of them including skeletons, foetus, bones and skin.
Instead of using real animals/ plants, schools will have to use images or models for teaching purpose.
“Acquisition or possession of wild animals without written permission of the chief wildlife warden of the state or the authorised officer is an offence against the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Capturing, injuring or killing a wild animal is hunting and is prohibited under the law,” states the directive.
School authorities, heads of schools/ colleges will face a seven-year jail term or fine or both, if schools are found to be in possession of such animals or plants.
Schools which possess such animals will have to surrender them to the chief warden and not acquire such specimens in future.
However, schools require specimens of plants/animals as study material for biology students.
For such purposes, specimens of commons plants/animals can be used, taking care that no specimens of threatened species listed under the Wildlife Protection Act are kept or displayed in schools.