Acting on a tip from a concerned citizen and a complaint filed by PETA India, the West Bengal Forest Department seized four parakeets on 2 August 2021 from two families in Salt Lake, Kolkata, who were keeping them in custody illegally. The officials registered a preliminary offence report under sections 9, 39, 40, 44, and 49 of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972. Parakeets are protected under the WPA, and capturing and keeping them is a punishable offence. At the time of the seizure, the birds were found to be crammed into small cages.
The birds are currently being kept at the forest department’s rescue center and are expected to be released into their natural habitat after they’ve been examined by a veterinarian.
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 But when they’re caged, these vibrant animals become depressed and withdrawn.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 over-preen themselves to the point of mutilation. Some people force birds to endure wing clipping so that they can’t fly away, yet flying is as natural and important to them as walking is to humans. Birds are captured, packed into small boxes, and shipped to be sold into captivity, and many suffer and die in transit, usually from broken wings or legs, dehydration, starvation, or stress.
Wild animals belong in their natural habitat, and exploiting them for profit or keeping them in captivity as “pets” is both morally wrong and punishable. The WPA prohibits the capture and trade of indigenous birds in India. An offence involving parakeets protected under Schedule I is punishable with a minimum of three years in prison, which may be extended to up to seven years, and with a fine of at least Rs 10,000, while an offence involving parakeets protected under Schedule IV may lead to imprisonment for up to three years, a fine of up to Rs 25,000, or both. In addition, Section 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, makes it illegal to keep an animal in a cage or receptacle that doesn’t offer a reasonable opportunity for movement, which for birds includes flight.
You Can Help:
- Refuse to buy or cage birds.
- If you have a bird you would like to rehabilitate so it can be set free or give to a suitable sanctuary for a better life, please do so only by working with a local forest department or an animal protection group.