CHANDIGARH: In what would come as a disappointment for bird lovers who have pet birds at home, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has issued a circular against confining birds in cages. Confirming the development, Jagdish Kochar, a city-based member of AWBI, said that a circular has been issued by the board for complete ban on keeping birds in cages, as it amounted to cruelty towards animals.
Kochar informed that the board has taken the decision after taking into account the decision of the Gujarat high court passed in May this year, that held that keeping birds in cages amounted to illegal confinement and was against the fundamental right of birds to move
The verdict was given by the court while deciding the issue regarding whether birds have a right to live freely, whether they can be kept in cages and whether caging birds violated their fundamental right.The issue had reached before the high court through some petitions filed by bird sellers demanding interim custody of caged birds, which were confiscated by the Surat police.
These bird sellers were booked under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Wildlife Protection Act. The HC had also ordered for the release of birds from cages.
With the said circular, anyone can complain against the confinement of birds in cages.
The circular would have an impact on various pet shops as well as those who love keeping exotic birds in their houses. Most pet shops in the city are flooded with exotic birds and designer cages because of the high demand.
There are many varieties of birds that are available for anything between Rs 350 a pair to Rs 2,000 a pair.
Some of the popular breeds that are in demand in the city are lovebirds, cockatiels, finches, canaries, budgerigars and the Australian diamond doves. Reacting to the development, Vinod Kumar alias Sonu, a Sector-20 based pet shop owner, said that the circular is "irrational" because people keep these birds as they love them.