Farmers at a rally held in Kozhikode demanding protection from wild boars
The Indian Farmers Movement (INFAM) has welcomed a recent ruling by the Kerala government that will allow farmers in the state the right to kill wild boars they say have plagued their crops and attacked agricultural workers. Father Antony Kozhuvanal, general secretary of the Church-affiliated forum, said the decision has brought “great solace” to farmers, many of whom say they have been devastated by the havoc caused by wild boars. The Kerala government’s “humanitarian action” came after two years of protests and pleading by Kerala farmers, he said, and would boost INFAM’s efforts to secure food safety and increase agricultural yields. Father Kozhuvanal added that the animals have caused crop losses worth millions of rupees. Permission to kill the wild boars followed a recommendation by the previous state government earlier this year in a move to protect crops. Wild boars have been a growing threat since the Indian government afforded them protected status by including them on a list of endangered species in 2004. Since that time, farmers in several districts of Kerala state have complained about wild boar attacks and staged rallies with cooperation from the Church and INFAM to demand protection. Dennis Peruvelil, a farmer from Pasukadavu village in Kozhikode district, praised the Church’s efforts on behalf of the agricultural community. “We are grateful to the Church people. Only they came forward and raised their voices for us,” he said, adding that farmers should be allowed to protect their farms at any cost.