The forest department along with the Lucknow police, acting on a complaint by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, recently raided the Nakhas bird market and rescued over 800 ring-necked, plum-headed and Alexandrian parakeets, munias and Silverbills.
Confirming this, divisional forest officer (DFO) Ravi Singh said: “A raid was conducted in the bird market and four persons involved in the illegal trade were arrested from the spot. An FIR was lodged against them and they were sent to jail. The case is in the CJM court. Police are on the lookout for others involved and further investigation is underway. The rescued birds were of indigenous species, so they were kept under observation for some time and later released in their natural habitat, in the Kukrail forest.” The rescued birds had been kept in cramped conditions, and eight of them were found dead, apparently due to severe crowding and suffocation. The FIR was registered by the Kotwali police against the accused under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972 (as amended in 2022); the Indian Penal Code, 1860; and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
As per reports, PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) became involved after receiving a tip-off from a concerned individual about the illegal wildlife trade in the market. “Birds are social beings and they’re born to fly in the open sky, not to spend their lives lonely and miserable in cages,” said PETA India Advocacy Officer Natasha Ittyerah. 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 But when they’re caged, these vibrant individuals become depressed and withdrawn. They often over-preen themselves to the point of mutilation. Some birds are forced 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. PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – pointed out that the WPA banned the capture, caging and trading of indigenous birds and that non-compliance could result in imprisonment, a fine, or both. In addition, caging birds violated the PCA Act, which stipulated that it was illegal to keep or confine any animal in any cage or other receptacle that did not provide them with a reasonable opportunity for movement – and for an aerial bird, that included flight.
Delhi HC issues notice to Centre, Animal Welfare Board on stricter laws against cruelty to animals
The Delhi High Court has sought response from the Central government, Animal Welfare Board, Delhi government and the Delhi Police over a petition filed by legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev seeking stricter laws against cruelty to animals. The Division Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula directed the authorities to file their responses in four weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on December 19. Filed by Kapil Dev, his wife Romi Dev and animal rights activist Anjali Gopalan, the public interest litigation (PIL) challenged the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in the part that allowed ‘destruction’ of stray dogs in lethal chambers and ‘extermination/ destruction’ of any animal under the authority of any law. It further challenged the constitutional validity of Sections 11(1), 11(3) (b) and 11(3) (c) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Sections 428 (Mischief by killing or maiming animal of the value of ten rupees) and 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle etc of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Section 11 has provision of fine ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 100 for persons treating animals with cruelty. For the first time offenders, the fine ranged between Rs 10 to Rs 50, while the subsequent offences could be charged anything between Rs 25 to Rs 100, besides being awarded a three months sentence or both. The petitioner argued that the provision did not have any deterrent effect and was manifestly arbitrary since it trivialised the life of animals and was inadequate to deal with the gravity of brutality, torture and crime committed against animals within the country. With regard to the provision of IPC, the plea argued that these provisions created an unreasonable classification between two sets of offences dealing with mischief by killing or maiming animals, on the basis of commercial value of the animal. The petition contended that for the grave offence of killing or maiming an animal of the value of ten rupees, the Act had provision for imprisonment of a term which may extend to two years or with fine or both, while for the same offence of mischief by killing or maiming cattle of any value or animal of the value of Rs 50, the imprisonment was extended to a term of five years or with fine or both. For the same gruesome offence of killing or maiming an animal, the penalty amount was different on the basis of the commercial and utility value of the animal, which was wholly unreasonable and arbitrary, it added. The petitioner was represented by Senior Advocate Aman Lekhi, along with Advocates Shraddha Deshmukh, Snehil Sonam and Shikhar Kishore.
दुधवा के प्रति पर्यटकों को आकर्षित करने के लिए दी गई भारी छूट
दुधवा नेशनल पार्क में प्रवेश शुल्क एवं अन्य शुल्कों की दरों में की गई कमी आम आदमी को दुधवा के प्रति आकर्षिक करने में मील का पत्थर साबित होगी। शुल्क दरों में कमी होने से दुधवा आने वाले पर्यटकों की संख्या में बढोत्तरी होगी जिससे विभाग के राजस्व में वृद्धि होगी। उक्त वक्तव्य पर्यावरण, वन, जलवायु परिवर्तन एवं जन्तु उद्यान मंत्री(स्वतंत्र प्रभार)-अध्यक्ष शासी निकाय दुधवा बाघ डा0 अरूण कुमार सक्सेना ने दुधवा बाघ संरक्षण फाउंडेशन के शासी निकाय(गवर्निंग बॉडी) की समीक्षा बैठक के दौरान दिये। डा0 सक्सेना ने कहा कि 05 वर्ष से कम आयु के तथा स्कूली बच्चों का दुधवा में प्रवेश निःशुल्क कर दिया गया है। पर्यटकों की सुविधा के लिए दुधवा के एक किमी के दायरे में होटल खोलने के लिए निवेशकों को आकर्षित किया जायेगा। उन्होंने निर्देश दिए कि दुधवा आने वाले पर्यटकों के लिए आवागमन की बेहतर सुविधा के लिए सम्पर्क मार्गों का सुदृढ़ीकरण यथाशीघ्र कराया जाये। डा0 सक्सेना ने बताया कि दुधवा के भ्रमण हेतु प्रति व्यक्ति प्रति पाली रूपया 300 के स्थान पर रूपया 150, गैंडा परिक्षेत्र में भ्रमण हेतु अतिरिक्त प्रवेश शुल्क प्रति व्यक्ति 700 के स्थान पर 200, सफारी वाहन शुल्क 600 के स्थान पर 200, गैंडा परिक्षेत्र के बाहर अधिकतम 02 घंटे की अवधि के लिए प्रति हाथी सवारी शुल्क रूपया 2000 के स्थान पर 500 एवं गैंडा परिक्षेत्र के अन्दर अधिकतम 02 घंटे के लिए प्रति हाथी सवारी शुल्क रूपया 4000 के स्थान पर 500 तथा बोट सवारी प्रति व्यक्ति शुल्क अधिकतम 01 घंटे के लिए रूपया 250 के स्थान पर 100 अनुमन्य किया गया है। बैठक में जनपद लखीमपुर खीरी के विधानसभा क्षेत्र पलिया के विधायक हरविंदर कुमार साहनी, जनपद बहराइच के विधानसभा क्षेत्र बलहा की विधायिका सरोज सोनकर, अपर मुख्य सचिव पर्यावरण, वन एवं जलवायु परिवर्तन मनोज सिंह सहित वरिष्ठ विभागीय अधिकारी उपस्थित थे।