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On 24th May 1994, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, constituted a Committee on “Prevention of Illegal Trade in Wildlife and Wildlife Products”. The Committee was headed by Dr. S. Subramaniam and it was to look into the issues related to illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products and to make recommendations for its effective control.
The committee submitted its report on 8th August 1994. The Committee observed that illegal trade in wildlife has raised its head in an organized manner in the country and lack of well - structured enforcement machinery and a system of flow of information are hampering any meaningful effort to put an end to this menace. The Committee also felt the need for time bound action plan.  Its recommendations included - establishment of a Central Task Force designated as Directorate of Prevention of Crime against wildlife with branches in important centres that would co-ordinate with the enforcement agencies; establishment of Central Wildlife Crime Data Bank to collect, collate and analyze data on wildlife and provide actionable guidelines to field staff; and establishment of good intelligence network.
            In 1997, the Minister of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, held a meeting to discuss the Ministry’s involvement in Tiger Protection. A proposal to house a directorate of enforcement for wildlife crime in the Ministry of Home Affairs was not accepted. In 1998, the Ministry of Home Affairs agreed with the creation of wildlife trade prevention control bureau under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
In the year 2000 international attention focused on India due to apparent escalation in illegal wildlife trade in the country, following significant seizures of wildlife articles in Ghaziabad (18/12/1999) and Khaga (12/01/2000). In the 11th COP of CITES (Kenya 2000) India promised to open a Wildlife Crime Cell to tackle poaching of tiger and illegal trade in tiger parts and derivatives.
 The Minister of Environment and Forests approved the constitution of Wildlife Crime Cell in the Ministry of Environment & Forests, and a notification to this effect was issued on July 18, 2001. The objectives of the Cell were to collect intelligence on wildlife, poaching and illegal trade of wildlife; and to collect, collate, analyze and pass on the same to the most appropriate agency for enforcement action.
In December 2004, the nation was shocked to know that tigers may have disappeared from the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan. By March 2005, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) confirmed in its interim report (which it followed up with detailed habitat monitoring) that there were indeed no tigers left in Sariska. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was asked to inquire into the disappearance. CBI investigation revealed that since July 2002, poachers had been killing tigers in the reserve and that the last six tigers were killed in the summer - monsoon of 2004.
Consequently, the Ministry of Environment and Forests set up Tiger Task Force on April 19, 2005, to review the management of tiger reserves. The Task Force was set up because of a crisis, but it was to look beyond the immediate crisis so that the survival of the tiger could be guaranteed. The Task Force submitted its report in July 2005. It observed that  unless the crime bureau can work effectively on different levels — one, to strengthen the enforcement at the state level; two, to investigate international trade links; and three, to break the crime of large poachers — it will not be possible to effectively deal with the crime. For this reason, the Task Force suggested to set up a wildlife crime bureau at the central level, with nodes in each tiger range state with capacity to both investigate and follow up on the crime. 
A proposal for constitution of a National Wildlife Crime Control Bureau under the Ministry of Environment and Forests to combat organized illegal trade in wildlife and their derivatives, was in – principle approved in the second meeting of the National Board for Wildlife chaired by the Prime Minister on 17th March 2005. As a result, a proposal was submitted to the Cabinet, which was discussed in its meeting held on 10th November 2005, and was sent to the Union Ministry of Law & Justice for further examination. The department of Legal Affairs had suggested enacting of legislation for fulfilling the objectives of the Bureau. The Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests, in its 154th Report had also strongly emphasized creation of the said Bureau as a statutory authority under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972. The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006, was passed in the Parliament during its monsoon session of 2006, providing enabling provisions for constituting the Bureau. The Act received the assent of the President on 3rd September 2006, and its provisions came in to force on 4th September 2006.
Consequently, a note for the Cabinet on constitution of Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau was submitted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests on 24th May, 2007; and the Cabinet in its meeting held on 31st May 2007, approved the proposal for the constitution of the Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau. The Government of India notified the constitution of the Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau to be known as the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau vide Order No. S.O. 918 (E) dated 6th June 2007. It became operational in the year 2008.