Snakes are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and their capture, display and transport is illegal.
Telangana Forest Department in association with PFA Hyderabad and other NGOs, conducted mobile surveillance on August 7, across the city, to check the use of snakes for worship on the occasion of Naga Panchami festival.
Three snakes were rescued by PFA Hyderabad on the day of Nagpanchami.
- The commonly displayed snakes by snake charmers on Nag Panchami are common Indian cobra and Indian rat snake.
- These snakes are caught from the wild in a perfectly healthy condition 30-45 days before Nag Panchami. They are then put through a lot of cruelty. Their fangs are removed using cutting pliers and at times their mouth is stitched so that they don’t bite.
- Later they are enclosed in a round wooden basket for more than a month without any food or water which makes them weak, dehydrated and they are left with cramped muscles which kills their speedy movement . Because of cramped muscles, a cobra takes 20 min to 25 min to move across a distance of one feet!
- Snakes are reptiles, not mammals to drink milk. Milk cannot be digested by reptiles and they eventually die!
- The Reason why snakes drink milk on nag Panchami is because they are dehydrated and stressed 30-45 days before nag Panchami by the Snake Charmers.
- Killing a snake like cobra or rat snake is a non-bailable offence under the Wildlife Protection Act (WLP- section 09- Prohibition of Hunting) and considering the fact that the cobra is protected under the Schedule II, Part II of the act
- The punishments may vary from a seven year imprisonment to a 10,000 rupees fine, or both as per the placement of the species under the schedules.