Uttarakhand Bans Angling Due to Animal Cruelty
Calling angling an “act of cruelty,” Uttarakhand has issued a complete ban on angling in rivers and streams in forest areas and tiger reserves across the state. Uttarakhand is the first state to issue such a ban.

Angling is a pastime activity that involves catching fish with a metal hook and releasing them back into waterways. For some people this is a sport, but for fish, it is immensely cruel and inflicts often life-threatening wounds.

As reported in the Hindustan Times, Chief Conservator of Forests Jai Raj, who issued the official order, said: “Angling is a crime under Section 11 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and has thus been banned across the state. How can the government subscribe to a policy which violates the Act?”

The forest department issued the notification a month after the state’s chief minister, Trivendra Singh Rawat, approved the ban in the presence of the forest minister and chief secretary.

According to the notification, angling includes the “use of anglers which get hooked on the lower portion of the mouth of the fish. ... This activity results in pain and trauma.” The notification also cites the High Court of Uttarakhand’s landmark judgment on July 4 declaring the entire animal kingdom, including birds and aquatic animals, as legal entities “having a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.” The court also declared all citizens of the state as “persons in loco parentis” (in place of parents) on behalf of animals.

This is a welcomed move and will certainly help animals across the state, including aquatic animals. Fishing has already caused serious problems for marine ecosystems and is rapidly killing our oceans.

Rampant overfishing has pushed many species towards extinction. Today, more than 30 percent of the world’s fisheries exceed sustainable limits.

And the problem isn’t confined to large fish. New research led by scientists at Stanford asserts that smaller species are equally vulnerable. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one-fourth of the world’s fisheries target small fish.

Additionally, as climate change forces fish populations to seek cooler waters, overfishing further threatens fragile ecosystems. By keeping fish off your plate, you end your support of an industry that cruelly kills animals and devastates the environment.

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