Wild rats for sale on a highway in Nagaland.
Hunting is illegal in India, but it does take place, perhaps in no place more than the Indian North East. Here, the issue isn’t just of being dependant on wild animals. It’s also of culture, adventure, and sport. Hunting is a cultural past-time, deeply embedded in the ‘this is what we do; this is what we have done’ sentiment. The question is, shall we look at all India bans, or should we make exceptions for bushmeat hunting of taxa like rats, many of which are classified as vermin?
Is sustainable non-target hunting even possible? Is sustainable a fantasy? Or should we enforce conservation idealogies on the hunting tribes of the North East, hoping for generational change?