Itanagar: To check rampant hunting of wildlife, the Arunachal Pradesh government will launch a mission in which people will be asked to surrender their airguns, the assembly of the tribal-majority state was informed on Friday.

Hunting of wild animals is illegal in India though it is part of the culture of many tribal communities in the country.

Replying to a question by senior Congress member Wanglin Lowangdong during the Question Hour, Environment and Forest Minister Mama Natung said that his department is planning to start the Air gun Surrender Abhiyan from April.

“The Abhiyan has already started in my district East Kameng and will begin in other districts from April,” he said and appealed to the members to bring awareness among people to stop hunting of wildlife.

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Expressing concern on large scale hunting during tribal festivals, Natung said that he had directed the forest department to act tough on hunting and accordingly 42 hunters were arrested.

“Many important floral and faunal species of the state are on the verge of extinction due to rampant hunting by the local people,” Natung added.

Assembly Speaker Passang Dorjee Sona said that it is a practice that people hunt wild animals and gift them to lawmakers.

So, if the members of the assembly stop eating the meat of wild animals, it would send a louder message to the people of the state, he said.

Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein in his budget speech also urged people to refrain from using herbal poison and explosives for fishing as it harms both flora and fauna.

Responding to a supplementary question, Natung assured the House to convene a meeting soon to chalk out strategies on how to revive the ailing Arunachal Pradesh Forest Corporation established several decades ago.

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