|Indian elephant in sunset|
The state of Assam in northeast India has recently introduced a series of strong anti-poaching laws with penalties of up to ten years behind bars for killing either a rhino, elephant, or a tiger. This new legislation was drafted as a response after poachers killed nine endangered one-horned rhinos in and around Kaziranga National Park this year. According to state forest minister Rokybul Hussain, the new penalties are an update to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 that imposes jail terms of three to seven years. He further added that poachers will face increased fines of about $1,085 which is five times to what the national law provides. In addition to that, Assam is also in the process of establishing a forest protection force. This force consisting of 1,000 members will be trained by the police and provided modern weapons to ensure protection of the wildlife.
I'm very proud to see that Assam has taken such a big step in combating illegal poaching. Not only is it enforcing some tough poaching laws aimed at poachers, but is also establishing a force consisting of 1,000 units which will help bring further reduction in poaching activities. I sure hope that somewhere in the future, Assam will provide aid to other Indian states that lack resources and funding in fighting illegal poaching. One of them is Orissa, which has lost a great deal of its elephant population to poaching. It would be very helpful and beneficial if a state that has been able to take a stand against poaching would help another in need through resources and funding. This way, states like Orissa will also rise up against the poachers who have been devastating the ecosystems.
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