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Stop Owl Sacrifices in India on Diwali - Miss Sukanya Kadyan

This petition had 2,087 supporters

An increase in illegal owl trade and sacrifices around Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, threatens the future of owls in India. Superstitions and false beliefs have created a demand for owls and their body parts in ceremonial rituals during the festival. The owl body parts used  include the skull, feathers, claws, heart, liver, kidney, blood, eyes, fat, beak, tears, eggshells, meat and bones. Ear tufts are considered to have the greatest magical properties. Hundreds of owls are trapped and traded every year, even though hunting and trade in all Indian owl species is banned under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. Owls or their body parts are used in black magic, street performances, taxidermy, consumption, occult medicines, for capturing other birds and even their eggs used for gambling, according to PFA Haryana Naresh Kadyan, an expert on the Indian bird trade. “Owls play an extremely useful ecological role by controlling the population of rats and large insects. In an agrarian country, where 60% of the population is dependent on agriculture, the role of owls should be recognized and strict protection should be given to these magnificent nocturnal birds,” said Kadyan. We ask the government of India to listen to, and work with the the experts on the Indian bird trade from OIPA in India - PFA Haryana by conducting regular raids and take legal action against poachers. Additionally, provide more rehabilitation centers for seized owls so they may be release back to the wild. More protection is needed for owls if they are to have a future in India.

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