Ban Sale of Peacock feathers

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I am Rajesh Kumar, a wildlife rescuer and a naturalist. I also run a wildlife NGO called Wild World Conservation Trust (WWCT), which mainly focuses on wildlife conservation and protection. In the recent past, I have witnessed many wildlife illegal trade. It pains me to see that.

Recently, I saw a shopkeeper selling a big bunch of peacock feathers in Bangalore. I immediately informed the police and forest department. The authorities were swift in acting, they detained the culprits and confiscated the feathers. I even gave a written complaint and did everything to make sure that these culprits are booked.

But to my surprise, I got to know that the culprits were released and no action was taken against them, as the law is not in our favour. After that I did some research to find the following:

-       In India, Wildlife is protected under Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Every species falls under their respective Schedules as per the Act. Also, there are Sections assigned to protect and save wildlife.

-       As per the wildlife act Section 43, 44(4) and 49 (A), selling, transporting, purchasing ‘trophy’ is illegal in India.

-       Peacock is our National bird protected under, Schedule 1. But there is an exemption for peacock feathers, permitting the trading of feathers shed naturally.

Now, people use the exemption as a loophole under the Wildlife Protection Act, killing peacocks extensively. We know that lakhs of feathers weighing thousands of kilos are up for sale in the domestic market. A single peacock naturally shed about 150-200 feathers, that weighs around 300 grams

Poaching activities happening is a reality. When they hunt, they mercilessly snare, poison and kill thousands of peacocks to pluck their feathers. 

It is not rocket science to understand that all the feathers that are being sold in the open market are not the naturally shed ones. How can one find lakhs of feathers in the same location? Peacocks don’t live in large groups so there is no question of one place having so feathers naturally shed.

Since 2010, the Ministry of Environment and Forests/ Government of India is waiting to amend the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 to ban the sale of peacock feathers completely. But the bill hasn’t been presented in the parliament asking for a ban. We often find that our current government presents a new bill today in the parliament and the next day it becomes an act. But somehow, peacock, our national pride takes backseat when it comes to its protection.

So please join in my fight to save our national bird from illegal poaching and sign my petition.