BENGALURU: Following the recent orders by Animal Welfare Board of India (ABWI) to ensure that no birds are confined in cages, officials have decided to free birds from different pet stores.
However, they aren’t aware of the number of pet stores in the city and the state. The members of state animal welfare board are waiting for the written order before they start their survey. The board will rope in animal husbandry department, BBMP, forest department and CID forest cell for the exercise.
An official from the board under the condition of anonymity, told TNIE, “We need to conduct a detailed study before taking action. The issue needs to be discussed with ministers and even NGOs and experts.”
Referring to the Gujarat High Court orders which recognised that birds have the fundamental right to fly, AWBI issued their directions. The court had acted upon a petition filed by PETA. The court had also re-quoted the Supreme Court order of 2014, that all animals have the fundamental right to live with dignity.
The official added that currently, not just large pet stores, but smaller ones are selling exotic birds. “Previously, we knew about endangered birds listed under IUCN are being sold at pet stores in Shivajinagar. But now, many small shops have come up, which are not easily visible,” the official added.
He said that despite regular raids, these stores are not closing down. The official admitted that more than wildlife, the issue becomes difficult to handle because of the religious lineage and economic issues. Thus, a holistic approach needs to be taken to address the issue.