For Immediate Release:
05 August 2021
Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]
Monica Chopra; [email protected]
A Preliminary Offence Report Has Been Registered Against the Offenders Under the Wildlife Protection Act
Kolkata – Acting on a tip from a concerned citizen and a complaint filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the West Bengal Forest Department seized four parakeets on Monday from two families at 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.
Photographs of the parakeets are available upon request.
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.
“Beautiful parakeets are meant to feel the wind in their wings, not languish in cages,” says PETA India Cruelty Response Coordinator Parvathy Mohan. “As the people of India will soon celebrate their independence, PETA India is calling on Kolkata residents to buy a pair of binoculars and watch birds in their natural habitat instead of imprisoning them.”
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 But when they’re caged, these same vibrant animals become depressed and withdrawn.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.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – points out that wild animals belong in their natural habitat and that 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.