Agra, May 1 (IANS) Hundreds of paint-brushes allegedly made from the hair of mongoose were seized from a shop here Monday evening."We are trying to find out about the supplier of these brushes," said Agra Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) P.K. Janu, whose team raided the shop, told IANS.
Mongoose is a protected animal in India and use of its hair is banned.However, there is no certainty that the brushes are made of the wild animal's hair.
"Posing as customers, we purchased the brushes from the paint shop. But we cannot say for sure whether these had mongoose hair till we get a laboratory report from the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun," said Agra Forest Ranger Y.P. Shukla.
But the United Nations-affiliated International Organisation for Protection of Animals (OIPA), which tipped off the forest department about the sale of the brushes, said it was sure mongoose hair were being used to make these brushes.
"On April 30, the OIPA India chapter received the information that in Agra, many hardware and paint shops were selling banned mongoose hair paint brushes. The Wildlife Trust of India's Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (under the ministry of environment and forest) was alerted along with the chief wildlife warden of Uttar Pradesh," Naresh Kadyan of OIPA told IANS.
"The DFO deputed his officials to conduct the raid on all shops along with a brush manufacturer in Shahgang. A paint shop was visited and 156 mongoose hair paint brushes were recovered," he added.
He said mongoose was a protected animal under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972."Hence, OIPA demands immediate arrest of offenders along with the recovery of mongoose hair paint brushes from all shops and manufacturing facilities," he said.