Saturday, August 22, 2009

Verify the need, feasibility of Venom Extraction Centre: BNHS

Mumbai, Aug 22 The proposed Snake Venom Research and Extraction Centre planned by Government of Maharashtra on cooperative basis in Nashik should be started only if the right procedures are ensured in capturing, handling and releasing snakes, the BNHS has said.

BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) is of the opinion that proper safety of captured snakes should be ensured before setting up the Centre, since snakes are vital to the future of environment and mankind, it said in a release issued here.

"If a programme for snake collection and venom extraction is well-designed, it could work. The danger is that if it is not done properly, snakes are not handled carefully and extraction is done in a crude manner, then it may result in the death of snakes captured for the purpose," Romulus Whitaker, BNHS Advisor and founder of Madras Snake Park and co-fo under of Madras Crocodile Bank said.

Moreover, guidelines issued by WHO (World Health Organization) should be referred to and the Government of India should call a meeting of the main stakeholders such as venom extractors, anti-venom producers, state forest departments, health officials, WHO officials and clinicians, before implementing this idea, the veteran herpetologist said.

Government of Maharashtra has recently cleared a plan to set up a Snake Venom Research and Extraction Centre on cooperative basis in Nashik. Chalisgaon-based Sanjivani Bahuddeyshiya Society has been authorized to run this Centre.


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