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How Delhi Police & PETA Rescued Thousands Of Parakeets & Other Birds From Illegal Traders In Jama Masjid Area

NEW DELHI: Acting on a complaint by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the Delhi police rescued thousands of adult and baby parakeets, including ring-necked and plum-headed parakeets, hundreds of muniyas, two hill mynas, and a pigeon, from illegal traders in the Kabutar market near Jama Masjid on Wednesday.

Representatives of PETA India had found the parakeets crammed on top of each other into small cages and in small dark unventilated rooms in which they were suffocating and jostling for air and space.

 The baby parakeets were found stuffed on top of each other in tiny cardboard boxes. Many dead parakeets were found trapped between the wire mesh of the cages and on the floor, and some bodies had even started decaying. PETA India filed a formal complaint at Jama Masjid police station, requesting that a first information report be registered under various sections of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960 and the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

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The group also filed another complaint with the Delhi forest department, calling on them to register a preliminary offence report under various sections of the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972. 

The birds are currently in the custody of the forest department and the adult parakeets, muniyas, and hill mynas are expected to be released into their natural habitat after examination by a veterinarian and upon receiving the court’s permission.

As per the direction of the deputy conservator of forests (North), the responsibility of the care and management of the rescued birds, including the baby and juvenile birds, has been given to Wildlife SOS.

PETA India’s rescue team nursed, fed, and offered water to all of the rescued birds while they were at the police station and later at the forest department’s office. 

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“Birds are social beings and born to fly in the open sky, not spend their lives lonely and miserable in cages,” says PETA India Senior Advocacy Officer Harshil Maheshwari. “PETA India applauds the Delhi police for sparing these birds a neglected life and for showing that illegal treatment of animals will not be tolerated.”

Hill mynas are protected under Schedule I of the WPA, and an offence involving such protected species is punishable with a minimum of three years in prison, which may be extended to up to seven years, and also with a fine of at least Rs 10,000. Other rescued parakeets and muniyas are also protected species under Schedule IV of the WPA, and an offence involving them may lead to imprisonment for up to three years, a fine of up to Rs 25,000, or both. 

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 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.

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