Kollam: The green activists have protested against the move to use antlers for medicinal purposes and submitted a memorandum to the centre in this regard.
The Kerala Sate Board for Wildlife had sought amendments to the Wildlife (protection) Act, 1972 for using the antlers for medicinal needs.
The Kerala Environmental Researchers Association (KERA) submitted the memorandum to the Union ministers of forest and environment, science and technology, health and family welfare and the National Board for Wildlife to prevent the move.
“The State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) with the chief minister as its chairman and the forest minister as vice- chairman has decided to give permission to collect deer antlers for ‘Oushadhi’ to produce medicines. This decision is unscientific and is likely to adversely affect the wildlife. The benefits of using antlers could be made got with the help of biotechnological advancement, by preparing the compounds in laboratory without depending on wildlife,” Dr. Sainudeen Pattazhy, president, KERA, told DC.
Velvet antlers, which are young, are used as traditional medicine. They contain 40 chemical compounds beneficial for treatment. Velvet antlers are growing parts and their collection was prohibited as per Wildlife Act,1972.
“Several advantages have been noticed in mice with velvet antlers powder but long-term usage in human beings showed many health effects like prostate cancer development, liver damage and blocking of other natural hormone action. Antlers contain a protein-based steroids IGF-1 and IGF-2. People who take supplements with IGF could be susceptible to the development of prostate cancer and other diseases,” Mr. Sainudeen added. The government should seek expert opinion of the Indian Council of Medical research (ICMR), New Delhi, for using wildlife and their parts for medicinal purposes, he said.