Kerala Forest Department will strictly prohibit those without certificates or training from catching snakes as it is a crime to catch snakes without a permit as per the Wild Life (Protection) Act. More often unwanted and dangerous situations arise while the snakes that are caught are displayed in front of people without following proper rules.
Those who are trained and certified by the Forest Department meet the criteria listed under the act. Out of the 1,600 people trained in 2020, certificates were issued to 928 snake catchers. The licence is valid for five years but may be revoked if the person tries to catch snakes without following the criteria.
Although popular snake catcher Vava Suresh who is undergoing treatment after cobra bite hasn’t participated in the training or obtained any certificate from the Forest Department. The government has decided to help him with his medical treatment and provide the fund required for it. The forest department will strictly instruct people like Vava Suresh to join the training programme and to get certified.
Vava Suresh has the experience attained by catching snakes on his own, but his lack of scientific training is the reason behind the recent snake bite incident, says Y Mohammad Anwar, Deputy Director of the Kerala Forest Training Institute in Arippa and Nodal Officer of the training programme.