August 11, 2021 7:24:03 am
A day after animal rights activist and former minister Maneka Gandhi came down heavily on the UT Administration for building a bird aviary, the Animal Welfare Board wrote to the UT Principal Conservator of Forests regarding the issue, urging the administration to follow the Board’s guidelines and take all statutory permissions for the project.
In the letter to the Chandigarh Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Wildlife, the Animal Welfare Board Secretary Dr SK Dutta said, “It is stated that the Board is in receipt of email from President, Second Innings Association stating that the Department of Forest and Wildlife, Chandigarh, is making a walk through aviary of birds in the UT, with over 1,500 birds of over 40 rare species. It has also been informed that these birds will be kept in enclosures in layer form made of net which will be covering the trees so that Birds may not be able to fly away. Further, it has also been informed that the birds are being purchased from open market. In this regard, it is stated that the AWBI has requested to properly implement directions of the High Court of Gujarat and High Court of Delhi in reference to the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.”
It also said that in another letter sent to police stations, senior forest officials and Chief Wildlife Wardens, the officials were directed to wrap up the illegal bird markets that operate in every city.
It further said that “birds may be kept in pet shops registered under Pet Shop Rules, 2018, veterinary clinic/hospitals, and animal owners registered under Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001,” adding that procurement of birds should only be made from authorised sellers, while exhibition of animals in zoological garden for education or scientific purpose is exempted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
The AWB also mentioned that many aerial birds in India are covered under the various schedules of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and necessary permission need to be obtained from the Wildlife Department for their procurement.
MANEKA’s letter TO UT
Maneka Gandhi had admonished the Chandigarh Administration on Monday, regarding the project of bird aviary, stating that “this is not the time to start this illegal and expensive venture, which is a cage for birds.”
It was on the representation of RK Garg, President of Second Innings Association, that Gandhi took action and sent a letter to the Chandigarh Administraton, which had floated a tender on July 22 for constructing a walk through bird aviary.
In her letter to Chandigarh Administrator VP Singh Badnore, Gandhi said, “It has been brought to my notice that the Chandigarh Administration has brought out a tender on July 22, 2021, asking to buy 1,500 rare exotic birds for a walk-in aviary. This is illegal. No one is allowed to sell birds in this country and sellers are regularly caught and jailed. By asking sellers to sell birds to you – many of which are not bred in India but smuggled from other countries where they are becoming increasingly rare – is breaking all the CITES international laws. For a government to encourage criminals is not correct.”
She added that all collection of animals or birds for public display come under the title of zoo.
“No zoo can be started in the country without the permission of the Central Zoo authority. This has not been taken. At a time when India is host to Bird Flu which is zoonotic, this is not the time to start this illegal and expensive venture,” she said in her letter. Gandhi also specified that “the current zoos are in a mess with high mortality”.
RESIDENT STARTS CAMPAIGN
A UT resident Ashok Tiwari started a campaign ‘Pinjra Tod’, urging officials and people to not cage the birds.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.