Madhya Pradesh: Notices to online retailers for selling lizard genitals

MPSTF team led by its chief R P Singh and SDO Ritesh Sirothia had seized four ‘hatha jodi’ which was later found to be hemipenis of lizards by Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and a veterinary forensic laboratory at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. Reports revealed that Hatha Jodhi were not herbs but the bifurcated hemipenis of Monitor Lizard.
Indian monitor lizard is a species protected under schedule II of Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972 and listed on Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Investigations revealed male lizards are burned alive so that their penises protrude from their bodies making it easy for the poacher to extract it. They are then dried and sold. The ‘herb’, is being illegally exported to US among other countries. MPSTF has sent notices seeking explanation on three points which includes details of customers who have purchased these products online.
: The special task force (STF) of Madhya Pradesh forest department’s wildlife wing has sent notices to four online retailers for allegedly selling dried hemipenis of monitor lizards’ and other wildlife articles.

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