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Laws relating to wild animals

The chief laws relating to wildlife in India are found in the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The Act prohibits the killing, poaching, trapping, poisoning, or harming in any other way, of any wild animal or bird.  It also provides for establishment of Wildlife Advisory Boards in every State.


  • According to Section 2 (37) of the act, wildlife includes any animal, aquatic or land vegetation which forms part of any habitat, thus making the definition a wide and inclusive one.
  • Section 9 of the Act prohibits the hunting of any wild animal  (animals specified in Schedule 1, 2, 3 and 4) and punishes the offense with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years or with fine which may extend to Rs. 25,000/- or with both.
  • The Act allows the Central and State Government to declare any area ‘restricted’ as a wildlife sanctuary, national park etc.  Carrying out any industrial activity in these areas is prohibited under the Act.
  • Section 48A of the Act prohibits transportation of any wild animal, bird or plants except with the permission of the Chief Wildlife Warden or any other official authorised by the State Government.
  • Section 49 prohibits the purchase without license of wild animals from dealers.