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Mongoose hair paint brushes seized from UP factories

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Dec. 14

THREE factories in Uttar Pradesh (UP) were found to be producing paint brushes manufactured from mongoose hair, suspected to be that of the two protected species of mongoose, the Ruddy mongoose and the common mongoose.

In a raid conducted by the UP Forest Department and the UP police, assisted by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), as many as 7000 paint brushes were seized from the factories in Sherkot, in Bijnore District.

"These brushes would have accounted for the death of approximately 3,000-3,500 mongooses,'' said WTI's Wild Enforcement Programme Officer, Mr Dipankar Ghosh.

The mongoose finds a place in the Wildlife Protection Act of India, 1972. This completely bans the use of any of its parts or derivatives. However, a large number of schools and colleges unknowingly use paint brushes made of mongoose hair.

According to the WTI, which is running an awareness building campaign on the issue in educational institutions, each mongoose yields about 20 grams of usable hair after the raw material is cleaned and graded for making brushes. The animals in the wild are trapped and then bashed or stunned to death. The hair is then plucked by hand, packed in gunny bags and sent to the factories.

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