A PETA India supporter posed as a caged bird against a sky-blue background at Dharna Chowk in Hyderabad to show passers-by that locking birds in cages and denying them the freedom to fly is cruel.
In nature, birds engage in social activities, such as taking sand baths, playing hide-and-seek, dancing, building nests with their mates, and nurturing their young. But when they’re caged, these vibrant animals become depressed and withdrawn. They often preen themselves to the point of mutilation. Some birds’ wings are clipped so they can’t fly – yet flying is as natural and important to them as walking is to humans. Birds are captured in nature, packed into small boxes, and shipped off to be sold into captivity. Many die in transit after incurring broken wings or legs or suffering from dehydration, starvation, or stress.
The Indian government has banned the capture and trade of indigenous bird species, and The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, makes it illegal to keep an animal in a cage or receptacle that doesn’t offer reasonable opportunity for movement. For birds, that means flight. Despite these laws, birds – including munias, mynas, parrots, owls, hawks, peacocks, and parakeets – are crammed into cages and sold at markets.