Q: How can one stop the poaching of exotic birds and what laws pertain to it?
A: Exotic birds are poached in their own countries and then smuggled into India, where they are sold openly. They come in containers in ships through Kolkata and Chennai and most customs officials are aware of the trade and profit from it. The trade is run by mafia that makes crores. The birds are smuggled across the country in trains, mislabeled as goods. The railways promised not to allow any live cargo but so many railway station masters are on the take. It is up to NGOs to keep a vigil on the railways. The law regarding exotic birds is very odd and encourages poaching as only ‘Indian’ birds can be caught under the Wildlife Protection Act. Shops selling Macaws and Cockatiels are never asked for any import licences or international permissions by either the forest department or the police, so this murderous trade carries on openly.