For Immediate Release:
26 July 2021
Harshil Maheshwari; [email protected]
Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]
PETA India Requested That the Board Advise the Central Government to Ban the Caging of Aerial Birds by Law Explicitly
Delhi – Following an appeal by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the central government statutory body the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has issued a fresh advisory to all states and union territories to issue directions to ensure a ban on keeping aerial birds in cages. The board’s advisory refers to the judgement passed by the Gujarat High Court and an order of the Delhi High Court recognising that birds have the fundamental right to fly and ruling that caging birds should not be permitted.
A copy of the advisory is available for download upon request.
In its advisory, the AWBI also quoted the 2014 judgment of the Supreme Court recognising that animals have fundamental rights, including the right to live with dignity. The AWBI referred to its earlier advisories issued on the same matter in 2011 and 2013 as well.
“Beautiful birds are meant to feel the wind beneath their wings, not languish in cages,” said Harshil Maheshwari, PETA India’s senior advocacy officer. “As we will celebrate our Independence Day, PETA India is calling on every resident to respect the freedom of birds by watching them in their natural habitats instead of caging them.”
Caging birds violates The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, which stipulates that it’s illegal to keep or confine any animal in any cage or other receptacle which does not measure sufficiently in height, length, and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement. Reasonable opportunity for movement for an aerial bird includes flight. In addition, the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, bans the capture, caging, and trading of various indigenous birds, and non-compliance can lead to imprisonment for up to 3 years, a fine of up to Rs 25,000, or both. In its letter, PETA India requested that the AWBI advise the central government to ban the caging and other confinement of all aerial birds, including those kept as “pets” in households or used for trade, entertainment, or any other purpose, by way of an amendment to the PCA Act.
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 have birds’ wings clipped so they’re unable to fly away, even though flying is as natural and important to birds as walking is to humans.
Celebrities John Abraham, Priya Anand, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ayaan Ali Khan, and Amaan Ali Khan have urged their fans never to condemn birds to a lifetime of confinement and loneliness in a cage.
Previously, the authorities of Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Haryana, and Sikkim also issued orders against caging birds.