In response to a viral video, which was also shared by actor Rashmi Gautam, in which a man can be seen repeatedly beating a little egret bird hung from the ceiling with a stick, PETA India is offering a reward of up to Rs 50,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for torturing the bird. Little egrets are a species protected under Schedule II of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 (as amended in 2022). The man in the video appears to be speaking in a Bengali dialect, and the caption of the post indicates that the incident likely occurred in the Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal.
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Anyone with information about the perpetrator(s) can contact PETA India’s animal emergency helpline on 9820122602 or at [email protected]. Informants’ identities will be kept confidential upon request.
PETA India recommends that the perpetrators of crimes against animals undergo psychiatric evaluation and receive counselling, as abusing animals indicates deep psychological disturbance. Research shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals are often repeat offenders who move on to hurting other animals, including humans. For example, Ameerul Islam, sentenced for raping and murdering a Kerala law student, had a history of raping and killing dogs and goats. A study published in the Journal of Emotional Abuse found that 71% of abused women with companion animals who sought shelter at a safe home confirmed that their partner had threatened, injured, or killed the animals.