'Stop illegal animal trade at crawford market'

Written By Unknown on Senin, 22 April 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), an umbrella body of animal protection groups from across the country, has urged the Mumbai police as well as Brihanhumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to completely ban the sale of birds and animals at Crawford Market in south Mumbai.

According to data with the ministry of environment and forests, a total of 8000 birds were seized and rescued from Crawford Market in the last 20 years, since 1993. Many wild and exotic species are also sold here," said a FIAPO member.

Despite the Wildlife Protection Act, which bans the trade and trapping of all indigenous birds, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which restricts the trade of foreign birds, a black market in birds thrives openly in many places including Crawford market, involving many of the country's estimated 1,200 species. Laws designed to protect India's birds are well intentioned but rarely enforced.

Munias, parakeets, peacocks, weaverbirds, koel, mynahs, and owls are commonly sold even though they are protected under the Wild Life Protection Act of 1972. So are animals like star tortoises.

Regarding parakeets, it is estimated that for every single bird sold in the market, two die en route. Baby fledglings are stolen from their nests and smuggled in cartons, tiny boxes and even rolled up inside socks and brought to cities. Captive birds' wings are crudely cut with a pair of scissors so that they cannot do the one thing they most long to do: fly. The life of these birds are limited to tiny cages in which they can hardly stretch their wings.

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