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| Last Updated:: 18/06/2019

Bristling fact: Mongoose hair rampantly used in brushes









When you buy a paint brush next time, you may be unknowingly helping an industry that thrives on poaching a small mammal, the grey mongoose, for its bristles. These brushes are sold in majority of the stationery shops across the city.




Last week, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau officials with the help of state wildlife officials seized more than 9,000 brushes made of mongoose bristles. Samples of the seized brushes have been sent to King Institute Laboratory for reconfirmation, said a wildlife crime control bureau official.




With no population estimation data of the species, poaching is rampant and their population is depleting fast, the officer said. About a decade ago, the mammal was not included in the schedule of Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. However, in 2011 following increased seizure of mongoose bristles from various parts of the country, the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change has brought the species under part 2 of Schedule II of the Act, said additional principal chief conservator of forests Shekhar Kumar Niraj. “A laboratory can confirm whether the brushes were made using mongoose hair, imported hair of mongoose or fake ones,” he said.




Mongooses, poached from across the country, are usually transported by road and train to Bijnor, Meerut and Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh. In these places, the hair from the carcass is removed and made into bristles to be used in paint brushes. Though mongoose poaching and its trade is no secret, no action has been taken so far to check it.




“Lack of follow up by enforcing agencies has led to the growth of this industry,” said the wildlife crime control bureau official. Though the state forest department conducted raids in Madurai and Coimbatore last year and seized more than 20,000 brushes, a year on, there was no follow up action a g a i n s t the violators. This is one of the main reasons for the rampant mongoose poaching,” the official said.





Source: Times of India, 18 June 2019, Chennai.