Confiscated rare animal parts to be barcoded

Kathmandu, May 14

The Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation is poised to dispose of seized and confiscated body parts of endangered wild animals as per the directives issued in April 3 by Environment Protection Committee of the Parliament, after barcoding the body parts left.

A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data. According to Deputy Director General of the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation Dr Maheshwor Dhakal, the department has been requesting financial and technical support from related agencies to barcode all animal parts. “We plan to store an individual profile record for each confiscated item, such as the weight and dimensions of the animal part, the time and place of confiscation, and information about the animal species,” he informed.

Once the process of barcoding the animal parts is completed, the decaying body parts will be burned, chief of Biodiversity and Environment at the Ministry Bijaya Raj Paudyal said. “Our first priority is to dispose of all animal parts” he added.  As many as 369 rhino horns, 69 tiger skins, 493 leopard skins, 185 elephant tusks, 36 musk pods, and 45 bottles of bear bile are currently stored in Tikauli and Kasara of Chitwan district forest office, and in Kathmandu district forest office.

Earlier, the government had decided to study the status of seized body parts and products stockpiled for years in different places after it grew difficult to manage them. The parliamentary committee then issued the aforementioned directive  based on the study report submitted by a team led by Janak  Raj Chaudhary.

During the study, the team conducted an on-site inspection on March 19 at Armed Forest Guard Training Centre (Tikauli) and Chitwan National Park, places where various wild animal parts have been stored for the past 18 years.

The parliamentary panel also instructed concerned bodies to allow national and international academic and scientific teams to study those parts given that no harm is done to the forest’s biological diversity, and that the study is conducted strictly in accordance with national and international laws.