The Madras High Court today gave an interim stay on an Union government order directing the states and Union Territories not to issue any new licence for farming Japanese quails and also not to give any permission for expansion or augmentation of existing farming facilities.
Admitting a writ petition filed by J John, Chairman of the Rural Employment and Educational Trust, the Madurai bence gave interim stay on the order of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (Wildlife Division) issued on September 22, 2011.
The petitioner said he had invested Rs 2.5 crore in the integrated Japanese quails farm involving Self Help Groups after obtaining loan from a nationalised bank.
He said it was an "irony" that when Animal Husbandary department, Central Poultry Development Organisation, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research were promoting Japanese quail farming by spending crores of rupees, the other department of the same government due to "some misconception" that the quails were poached in forests, was trying to ban its farming.
The Japanese quail were collected not by poaching into the Indian forests, but obtained from abroad to develop to suit the Indian climate and the Indian farmers for its commercial production, and marketing to boost rural economy, he said.
Japanese quail germ plasm was supplied to the farm by Central Avian Research Institute for commercial production of broiler quail, which was highly disease resistant and without any routine immunisation and vaccination, he said.
It was easy to manage them, as it required lesser feed, minimum space and was an affordable investment, the petitioner said.
He earlier they had to repay the loan they took from the banks in instalments. However, the NABARD, after issue of notification by the Environment and Forest Ministry, had directed the banks not to extend the loans for the Japanese quail farms, he said.
Now the Kanyakumari branch of a nationalised bank, from where the trust had taken Rs 1.49 crore as loan for the farm, was pressurising them to repay the loan within seven days, he said.