Is Smuggling Of Exotic Birds Animals A Crime In India?


The article titled ‘Want for Legal guidelines to Forestall Smuggling of Unique Animal Species in India’ dated August 13, 2018, talks concerning the unlawful presence of all kinds of animal species at totally different locations, assorted environments and huge weather conditions, away from their native biomes. It not solely talks concerning the excruciating extents upto which the presence of such species is inflicting discomfort and impeding the conventional functioning of a society, but additionally addresses the blatant advertising and marketing and buying and selling of those species by unlicensed merchants, going by the title of “pet homeowners”, tagging their “unlawful assortment of animals” as “wide selection of selections for pets” and attracting harmless clients and additional pulling everybody into the infinite spiral.

The writer brings to mild how possession of unlawful unique species was normalised amongst wealthy households and societies, and placing the distress of those animals was thought-about to be a factor of delight. She mocks the authorities by obvious into the eyes of the administration and questions their functioning. She mentions how, in a spot akin to Delhi, “the place all lawmakers stay,” it’s equal to doing a day by day chore when one needs to “decide up” an unique species.

She mockingly provides how being in key locations within the India doesn’t have an effect on a person’s deterrence from committing an act that’s morally and ethically flawed, however can’t be confirmed flawed from the lens of Indian lawmakers as no such regulation exists that criminalizes such an act.

Credit score: Getty Pictures

The writer highlights how this isn’t solely a violation of nationwide and worldwide pointers such because the CITES and Indian legislations akin to Wildlife (Safety) Act, 1972. This act can also be disbalancing the ecological cycle by displacing the various species of flora and fauna from their respective pure habitats. The article was a name for an pressing want for guidelines for unique species and the regulation of licenses for a similar. The writer provoked the authorities to behave on it and criminalise the offence of unlawful importing of unique species in India.

12 months 2020 – A Optimistic Flip For Unique Species?

Transferring into the yr 2020, wherein the Indian administration not solely made progress in leaps and bounds, but additionally actively battled the pandemic whereas bringing again the tempo of its regular functioning, an article titled ‘Covid-19: India Should Act Rapidly to Open the Eyes of Its Legal guidelines to Unique Species’ elucidates how the pandemic, which initially began off as a virulently spreading illness perceived to have originated from animals, has introduced consideration to the delicate and permeable framework that India has adopted with regards to import and possession of unique stay species, which was nearly as good as non-existent.

The article not solely discusses how slim the scope of the beforehand current legislations was, but additionally brings to mild the applausable effort of the Union Atmosphere Ministry geared toward streamlining and formalising the exhaustive strategy of importing unique species, which attracts a agency boundary for a similar. The article highlights how there was a dire want of such an advisory, directing and regulating the whole course of and conserving a test on all of the platforms illegally importing unique species. It goes on to deeply clarify and critically analyse the articulate protocol by the advisory.

Points Highlighted

Whereas the article highlights the dire want of such an advisory and deeply explains the implementation of the identical, it additionally brings to mild sure downsides to the principles outlined. It brings out the truth that the advisory restricts itself solely to the species talked about within the Conference of Worldwide Commerce in Endangered Species (CITES), and deriving the definition of “Unique Species” from CITES brings a meagre variety of species beneath its ambit, thereby making the purview of the advisory very slim.

This suggests that the advisory would fail to deal with the problem of safeguarding all of the unique species, subsequently pushing unlawful merchants to additional increase their entry to varied species. This growth of entry wouldn’t solely render the advisory meaningless, but additionally show to be deadly for biodiversity.

The second subject rightly highlighted by the article in point out brings forth a debate that not solely addresses the loopholes in due course of from a authorized perspective, however factors in the direction of main challenges from the organic standpoint as nicely. It talks about how the advisory conveniently dodged the potential of prevailing threats of bringing an unique species to a totally totally different setting, thereby opening the floodgates to potential threats like unique animals turning into invasive species and spreading zoonotic illnesses.

It has been claimed that invasive species are severe menace to the ecosystem and the financial system within the launched areas. Furthermore, all international locations now encounter issues of organic invasions and devising efficient methods and there’s a want for management measures for curbing the brand new invasion episodes and mitigating the destructive impacts posed by these unique invaders. Thus, the difficulty of potential organic hazards can’t be ignored as it might not simply deliver forth the blatant ignorance of the administration, however may also have some severe impacts that may show to be a problem earlier than us all.

Whereas it’s unlawful to have inexperienced parrots as pets, it’s authorized to maintain unique birds as pets in India.

The third subject of concern introduced forth by the article was the failure of the advisory in mentioning the welfare requirements to be adhered to whereas arranging for captive services for the unique species. The article in  point out claims that the rules and procedures beneath the advisory had been extremely ambiguous in nature. It have to be emphasised upon the truth that a sudden shift in setting places unique species beneath numerous bodily stress, which later displays in long-term illnesses and infertility in sure circumstances.

Private Evaluation

Whereas the article sufficiently explains the subject material from a layman’s perspective, it’s crucial to dive into the intricacies of the doc mentioned and convey out the positives and negatives for a deeper understanding. The doc titled ‘Advisory for coping with import of unique stay species in India and declaration of inventory’ was launched by the Ministry of Atmosphere Forest and Local weather Change with the purpose to streamline the method for import and possession of unique stay species in India.

With a complete of 4 broad targets to be achieved (that are improvement of a listing for unique stay species in India, placing down a process for import of unique species, registration of progenies of such imported unique species and declaring a platform in case of dispute), the advisory intricately guides us by way of every goal by setting down a powerful basis of procedures to be adopted for every purpose.

Whereas the procedures for the primary two goals are outlined correctly, the third clause (Registration of progenies of imported animals) is noticed to be barely imprecise, as I imagine that the advisory ought to have given sure directions or pointers concerning the procedures of be adopted for the method of the breeding of such unique species, earlier than declaring the norms for registration of their progenies.

Taking a look at it from a comparative perspective, a really well-known TV present from the 90s featured a monkey named ‘Marcel’, who turned out to be an unlawful unique animal. A personality within the present has the monkey as his pet till authorities present up. All of us loved it when the monkey was not taken away. but when we transfer to the fact and in India, the same scenario the place an individual raises an unique animal as a pet wouldn’t appeal to any authorities as per the prevailing legal guidelines.

The Wildlife (Safety) Act, 1972, got here forth with the purpose to guard wild animals for the ecological and environmental safety of the nation. However one of many largest considerations that isn’t addressed by the act is the safety of unique species and the smuggling of the identical into the nation.

The Indian regulation doesn’t outline the time period “unique species” or “unique pets”, which turns into the primary as a result of clarification of what a time period means is pertinent earlier than addressing the massive image since such a definition would make nature and scope of what falls beneath the ambit turns into clear. “Pet animals” are outlined in Part 2 (j) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Store) Guidelines, 2016, which incorporates well-known home animals like canine, cats, hamsters, rabbit, guinea pig, rodents of the rats or mice class and captive birds. This definition additionally consists of animals akin to Macaws, fox squirrels, iguanas and so forth., that are all imported to India. Whereas it’s unlawful to have inexperienced parrots as pets, it’s authorized to maintain unique birds as pets in India.

A fast google search exhibits a number of webpages that supply unique birds and animals on the market, starting from snakes, toucans to pet reptiles and extra. The Wildlife (Safety) Act, 1972, supplies safety solely to these animals and birds talked about in its schedules. It doesn’t embody any unique species by any means. Whereas there are on-line petitions world wide to save lots of African gray parrots, folks in India should purchase them on-line from the consolation of their properties.

Merchants, as an alternative of being afraid of authorities, are posting footage of those unique species together with well-known celebrities. All these points hint again to the act talked about above and its blind eye in the direction of the species coming from overseas. Part 2 (5) of the act defines captive animals to be animals who’re specified within the 4 schedules inside the act and which are captured or saved or bred in captivity.

“Pet animals” are outlined in Part 2 (j) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Store) Guidelines, 2016, which incorporates well-known home animals like canine, cats, hamsters, rabbit, guinea pig, rodents of the rats or mice class and captive birds. Credit score: Getty Pictures

You will need to word that not one of the animals within the schedules are unique. Part 2 (36) defines wild animals however once more consists of solely those talked about within the 4 schedules of the act. This clearly denies any kind of consideration in the direction of the unique species that technically doesn’t grow to be unlawful to carry out commerce actions. It is a enormous loophole that’s being exploited immensely by animal merchants within the nation. Lately, Animal Welfare Board of India has written to the IT ministry, notifying concerning the sale of animals being carried on unregistered web sites.

If one research each the articles from a hen’s eye view and analyses the intricacies and managerial selections behind every transfer, it not solely highlights how the administration has been profitable in figuring out the problems prevalent within the society, but additionally the revolutionary steps it took to discover a sensible resolution to the issue in up to date occasions. The addressing of points at such a deep stage might solely be made potential by the robustness of the analysis teams and energetic journalism, guaranteeing that every subject of concern is taken to the authorities in an knowledgeable and formalised method.

Whereas one might argue that the Indian administration, together with the involved Ministries, has come a good distance in drafting the advisory and launching it specifically in these occasions of turbulence. The Opposition may declare that stories show how obtuse and torpid the Atmosphere Ministry is, because it has not simply did not acknowledge against the law, but additionally did not result in an efficient coverage, which dictates a transparent path of actions to be adopted and likewise creates adequate deterrence in minds of the offenders, encouraging them to keep away from such acts.


Whereas one should applaud the efforts of the Atmosphere Ministry in rolling out an advisory concerning a problem obvious proper into the eyes of the Indian administration, it’s important to level out that the advisory not solely has a slim scope of functioning, however may use sure amendments with regards to implementing a coverage on a problem that has been the centre of public attraction since some time. Safety of unique species shouldn’t solely be ensured upto a stage that guarantees constructive leads to commerce, however the minimal requirements of due diligence for such species ought to be raised to a stage which retains the species wholesome and hearty.

One other subject of consideration is how the mass switch of such species (whether or not authorized or unlawful) impacts no solely the animals in transit but additionally the setting they’re shifting to. Intermixing of international genes and publicity of sure traits to an alien setting might not yield the very best outcomes. Thus, these points ought to all the time be saved in thoughts when framing rules for processes which embody twiddling with the pure order of organic actions.

Relating to satisfying the minimal requirements of precautions to be taken for such an act, the advisory did justice to the trigger and introduced out high quality amalgamation of Ministry of Atmosphere Forest and Local weather Change (Wildlife Division), Ministry of Overseas Commerce and Departments of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairying.

Featured picture credit score: PETA

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