Chiru faces extinction

instead of saving the endangered Tibetan antelope, the Jammu and Kashmir government looks determined to protect illegal manufacturers of shatoosh shawls through its proposed wildlife law. Shahtoosh is an exotic wool that is extracted from Chiru, the Tibetan animal. People slaughter the animal before extracting shahtoosh.

A draft on the J&K Wildlife (protection) Act would soon be placed before the State Legislature for an amendment. According to sources, a ban on shahtoosh does not figure in the draft. Environmentalists from the worldover had been demanding to take strict measures so that the endangered animal could be saved.

However, it is reported that the powerful and politically strong lobby of Kashmiri shahtoosh traders have managed to influence the government. Some politicians in the ruling National Conference have favoured the trade which is declared illegal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of fauna and flora.