Mumbai: Raid at Crawford Market; exotic birds and flamingo rescued

Published: Jun 17, 2019, 08:57 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) carried out multiple raids in Mumbai seizing hundreds of caged exotic birds being illegally smuggled making it one of the big seizures dealing with illegal trading of caged birds

Mumbai: Raid at Crawford Market; exotic birds and flamingo rescued
Representational image

Directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) carried out multiple raids in Mumbai on Saturday, seizing hundreds of caged exotic birds being illegally traded and smuggled. Wildlife crime control bureau along with the state forest officials assisted the DRI in these raids. "Several exotic bird species like sulphur-crested cockatoos, African and Burmese parrots, Galah cockatoos, love birds among others were seized by the raiding teams at Crawford Market in south Mumbai, Kurla, Govandi and Santacruz. This is one of the big seizures dealing with illegal trading of caged birds," informed an official who was part of the raids.

From Crawford Market alone, exotic bird species in 21cages were seized. Sources said that similar raids were held in other parts of the state, leading to several arrests as well by the DRI. According to the Times of India, there was also a flamingo among the birds seized from one of the raids in suburban Mumbai, indicating that the traders could also have poached the wetland birds currently seen in large numbers along different coasts in and around Mumbai.

Also Read: 482 smuggled parrots rescued across Mumbai in five years

"Some other bird species noticed during the raids include various cockatiels, ducks among others, which fuels suspicion that exotic birds may also be bred in captivity in India and are then sold at high prices to eager buyers. Often, the birds are smuggled in by sea, air and also by road for this illegal business," added the officer.

Indian bird species are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and so their trading or poaching can lead to jail terms by the wildlife authorities. However, since exotic or foreign birds are not covered by the Wildlife Protection Act, many bird breeders and smugglers run this racket. "In India, we have drafted import-export policy and rules which prevent the trade of exotic bird and animal species. But fascination for foreign breed birds, which may also be endangered species, leads to their smuggling and captivity and therefore this illegal trade," said an animal rights activist.

Also Read: Birds and rabbits stuffed in cages rescued from train in Mumbai

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