DRI seizes exotic birds smuggled into Bengal from B’desh

The 21 birds were handed over to the Alipore Zoo authorities.

kolkata Updated: Jun 28, 2018 12:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
DRI,Alipore Zoo,Birds
The Pygmy Falcons which have origin in Africa were the most exotic birds in the catch.(HT Photo)

Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), on Wednesday evening, seized 21 exotic birds of foreign origin that were smuggled into India through the Indo-Bangladesh border.

The birds recovered by DRI officials from a vehicle at Muragahcha crossing of the Chakdaha-Kalyani Expressway in Bengal’s Nadia district included three red and blue Macaws, three Eclectus Parrots, eight Pygmy Falcons and seven white ducks.

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“Three persons including the driver of the vehicle were arrested and booked under Customs Act, 1962 and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. These birds were supposed to be delivered to a buyer in North 24 Parganas district in Bengal,” said a DRI official.

After seizure the DRI officials contacted the offices of the state’s principal chief conservator of forests and the director of Alipore Zoo in Kolkata. “All the birds have been handed over to the Alipore Zoo authorities,” said an official of the agency.

Former principal chief conservator of forests of West Bengal, Atanu Raha, expressed doubts on the applicability of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 in this case. “Wildlife Protection Act is applicable only in case of animal species of Indian origin and not those of foreign origin. But surely provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 can be applicable here,” Raha said.

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He explained that international trade of wild animals and plants are guided under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), where permissions from competent authorities of the importing and exporting countries are required.

“In case of India, the competent authority is the Union ministry of environment and forests. So there must be a violation of CITES regulations in this case,” Raha added.

First Published: Jun 28, 2018 12:55 IST