The Legal and Advocacy Division has been proactively operational to assist enforcement agencies curb crime against wildlife, particularly poaching and illegal trade on wildlife parts and its finished products. It runs a Wildlife Crime Motoring Project (WCMP), supported by UK based The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and has been continuously monitoring the modus operandi of wildlife criminals which serves as complimentary investigative aids for the enforcement agencies. The project works as a watchdog over occurrence of wildlife crimes and if possible its doers, to analyse the causation of wildlife crimes and constantly build strategies to mitigate it.
This division has organised over 25 legal workshops for a range of law enforcement agencies to tackle wildlife crimes primarily Forests & Police officials during past two decades. The workshops are conducted by a team of experienced lawyers of the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court headed by eminent senior Advocate Mr. Gautam Uzir assisted by advocate Mr. Ajoy Kumar Das. The division has been pursuing key Public Interest Litigations in the Courts in the interest of forest and wildlife and has been successful in obtaining favourable orders for conservation.
The legal orientation camps often cover the laws like the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 as amended, Forest Conservation Act of 1980, Environment Protection Act of 1986, Biodiversity Act 2002, Indian Panel Code of 1860, Code of criminal Procedure of 1973, Indian Evidence Act of 1872, Arms Act of 1959, Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act of 1960 etc. The species included in Appendix 1 of CITES are also discussed in such legal orientation camps.
Another important contribution of this Division has been the launch of K9 dog-squad comprising of six Belgian Melinoise dog along with its handlers, which have been active to assist forest and police officials in Kaziranga National Park along with other rhino bearing areas in Assam resulting into arrest of many poachers by law enforcement agencies.
The reason why we used this particular breed is because of their extreme prey drive capability. They are capable of even assisting arrests of suspects if the situation demands. Once they pick up a scent and track and come to a lead, they have the capability of outrunning and bringing the suspect down in case the suspect tries to escape. This breed has been successfully used as Military Working Dog by American and European forces. This sniffer Dog Squad has assisted the forest officials with vital clue of poacher's exit route after the rhino poaching incidences leading to arrest of culprits by the forest and police officials
The K9 unit has been running with generous support received from UK based organization, the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation since 2011 and NABU-Germany since 2017.