Prelims Syllabus : Environment - Bio Diversity & its Threat Mains Syllabus : GS-III Environmental Conservation.
Why in News?
- A raid conducted by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) under Special Operation named ‘Operation Clean Art’ has seized over 50,000 Mongoose hair brushes across 5 state recently.
About Operation Clean Art:
- Operation Clean Art was the first pan India operation to crackdown on the smuggling of mongoose hair in the country.
- This is an special operation of WCCB to conduct raids across various states to keep a check on the factories that were making brushes with mongoose hair.
- Painters prefer brushes made of mongoose hair because they are superior and hold colour better, and there is no better alternatives it.
- During this raid approximately 26,000 brushes and over 100 kg of raw mongoose hair was seized.
- It has to be noted that for about 150 kg of mongoose hair, at least 6,000 animals would have been killed.
About Mongoose species:
- There are six species of mongoose found in India.
- All mongoose species found in India are protected under Schedule II (Part II) of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, which prohibits all trade of animals listed in it.
- IUCN Status – Least concern.
- There have been instances in which mongoose hair has been transported using courier companies. So, Postal Department authorities are also trying to spread awareness and identify illegal trade in wildlife.
- There is also a campaign on social media where concerned organisations are urging artists to take a pledge to refrain from using brushes made of mongoose hair.
- WCCB is statutory multi-disciplinary body under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
- It was established in June 2007 by amending the Wildlife (Protection) Act (WLPA), 1972.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi and has five regional offices.
Functions of WCCB:
- Under Section 38 (Z) of WLPA, 1972, it is mandated it to state and other enforcement agencies for immediate action.to collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime and disseminate it to state and other enforcement agencies for immediate action.
- It assist foreign authorities and international organization concerned to facilitate co-ordination and universal action for wildlife crime control.
- It is tasked with capacity building of the wildlife crime enforcement agencies for scientific and professional investigation into wildlife crimes and assist states to ensure success in wildlife crimes prosecutions.