Babloo Aziz’s Illegal Zorang Pet Show Cancelled, Bollywood Names Falsely Used To Promote Event

For Immediate Release:
17 April 2013

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
Mansi Rawal; [email protected]

Animal Welfare Board of India Had Advised Police to See That Mumbai Event ‘Is Not Allowed to Be Held’

Mumbai – After receiving inquiries from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and People For Animals (PFA), the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory body operating under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, sent an advisory to the Kherwadi Police Station in Mumbai instructing the police to stop a three-day exotic-“pet” show featuring birds and other animals that was scheduled to begin on 19 April from taking place. In the advisory, AWBI Vice Chair S Chinny Krishna wrote, “[P]lease note that prior permission of the Animal Welfare Board of India … is required for holding such an exhibition/show. The Animal Welfare Board of India has neither been approached for this permission which is mandatory under the Performing Animals Rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 59 of 1960, nor have we given any sort of permission to hold this show. … May we request you to please see that this show is not allowed to be held”.

On 16 April, Namdeo Chavan, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 8, called on Babloo Aziz, a former Congress corporator, and confirmed that the show will not be held. PETA, PFA and Bombay SPCA officials also met with the Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Bollywood celebrities Emraan Hashmi and Neha Dhupia, whose names appeared in the media as supporters of the event, have confirmed to PETA that they did not support it and were not even aware of it. Dhupia even took to Twitter and re-tweeted PETA’s message confirming that she is not attending the show. Mahima Choudhry‘s and Suniel Shetty‘s names appeared on a billboard promoting the event, but when contacted by PETA, Chaudhary was baffled because she did not even know of the event, and Shetty’s office confirmed that he has already told the concerned party that he cannot attend the event so long as adequate permissions are not in place.

“The organisers of the Zorang Pet Show appear to have had as much disrespect for the law as they do for the animals they wanted to exploit”, says PETA India Corporate and Government Affairs Liaison Sarfaraz Syed. “Such exhibitions encourage impulse buying of wild animals, who have no business inside people’s homes. Being put on display in alien surroundings causes animals stress, confusion and fear.”

Because dealers market exotic-animals as little more trouble than stuffed toys, most people are shocked by the responsibility and expense involved, including providing specialised food, adequate housing and veterinary care. When the novelty wears off and buyer’s remorse sets in, some people try to unload their high-maintenance animals at zoos, which rarely accept them. Many are left at already-overburdened shelters or are simply abandoned outdoors and left to die.

Furthermore, The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and the amendment added to it in 1991 ban the capture and trade of all 1,200 varieties of indigenous birds found in India. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species restricts the trade of foreign birds. Additionally, The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 makes the capture and sale of many other species illegal.

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