Saturday, September 3, 2011

As Centre agrees to its captive breeding, NGOs raise strong objection to the move
P Naveen l Bhopal
While the Centre has in-principle agreed to set up a breeding centre for white tigers in Madhya Pradesh, wildlife organisations including the International Organisation for Animal Protection - OIPA —have raised strong objection to the move. They say it is a faulty project for deliberately inducing genealogical anomalies in the tiger.
The white tiger is not a species. This is an anomaly, termed leucism which prevents the pigment from coloring the skin and fur, claims OIPA. The organization is all set to move Supreme Court against the white tiger project cleared by State and the Central government.
The organisation has launched a campaign against the project and collected around 1000 signatures for its drive. The Central Zoo Authority on Tuesday gave in principle approval for breeding centre at Govindgarh in Madhya Pradesh which has the unique distinction of being the home of the first white tiger. The OIPA says white tigers can only exist in captivity by continual inbreeding, such as father to daughter, brother to sister, mother to son and so forth. The white lions and golden tabby tigers are merely a product of this practice of inbreeding for white coats as well, and are not being bred for any sort of conservation programme either.
“The myth of the rare white Bengal tiger is an illusion meant to deceive the public into thinking that these cats were endangered and being preserved for future generations. The truth of the matter is that they arent even pure Bengal tigers, but rather, are the offspring of an original Siberian / Bengal cross breeding”, claims Naresh Kadyan, OIPA representative in India.
Moreover, inbreeding is banned as per recognition of Zoo Rules, 2009. Kadyan told DNA the inbreeding results in many defects, early deaths, still births and, as could be expected, the cats are not very bright. Which is why they are preferred for entertainment purposes, he pointed out. State forest minister Sartaj Singh finds no wrong in breeding the white tiger. “Many white tigers have been bred in different parts of the country so far. No problem was detected in them. They are endangered and must be bred,” Singh told DNA.