The Bombay high court on Friday issued notices to the Union and the Maharashtra government, as well as the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, over a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a complete ban on the sale of birds and animals at Crawford Market.
According to the plea filed by a social activist through his lawyers Sanjukta Dey and Abhishek Yende, about 8,000 birds have been seized and rescued from Crawford Market over the last 20 years.
The plea also claims that despite the Wildlife Protection Act that bans the trade and trapping of indigenous as well as endangered birds, “a black market” for such trade thrives openly in the Crawford market area.
“Such acts of animal cruelty and practice of illegal trade is in gross violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The animals are been kept in terrible conditions, cramped in small cages with inadequate food and water. Most of the animals are sick and suffers from contagious diseases which further spread to the other animals, due to the lack of medical treatment,” the petitioner told HC.
The petitioner has sought that such birds and animals be rescued and the traders be directed to shut shop immediately.
The plea also claims that the Animal Protection and Welfare Organisations has also repeatedly sought action against the pet sellers “engaged in these inhumane acts of cruelty towards the animals, however, the authorities are yet to take any action.”
The high court has granted four weeks to all respondents to file their replies.