Press Esc to close
Saturday 26 July 2014
News updated at 12:43 AM IST
Weather
Max: 28.5°C
Min : 19.8°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

'Protect owls from being sacrificed during Diwali'

New Delhi: Nov 8, 2012 DH News Service

Law enforcement agencies in the city must step up efforts to check increase in the illegal trade of owls and the practice of their sacrifice during Diwali, according to Traffic India, an organisation that studies wildlife trade.

Delhi happens to be the leading city from where owls are illegally traded to other cities in India, say activists.

“Enforcement officers of the forest department, railways, customs and police need to monitor and control illegal bird trade by launching regular raids and taking legal action against the perpetrators,” said Traffic India associate director M K S Pasha.


The organisation is a joint venture between World Wide Fund for Nature and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Owls are usually sacrificed on auspicious occasions such as Diwali, and their body parts are used in rituals. Black magic practitioners (tantriks) prescribe owl body parts, including the skull, feathers, claws and heart, among others.

“It is unfortunate that although people consider the owl sacred in Indian culture and it is a carrier (vahan) of Goddess Lakshmi, superstitions and false beliefs manipulated over the ages have created a demand for them and their body parts to be used in black magic ceremonies,” said Traffic India member Abrar Ahmed.

Although hunting and selling all Indian owl species is banned under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 hundreds of them are trapped and traded every year. The most sought-after species are particularly those with false ear-tufts (feather extensions on the head). They are considered to have greater magical properties. 

The organisation released a report in 2010 highlighting the ways in which owls or their body parts are used in black magic, street performances, taxidermy, consumption and occult medicines. The birds’ eggs are also used for gambling.

The report highlighted that of 30 owl species in India, 15 were found to be in circulation in the domestic live bird trade, with the Spotted Owlet, Barn Owl and Rock Eagle Owl the most commonly traded species.  

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Actor Akshay Kumar at an event in Gurgaon...

Actor Akshay Kumar at an event in Gurgaon...

Owner of Jaipur Pink Panther Kabaddi Team Abhishek Bachchan during a promotional event...

Owner of Jaipur Pink Panther Kabaddi Team Abhishek Bachchan during a promotional event...

Sand sculpture with a message “Stop War” at Puri beach of Odisha...

Sand sculpture with a message “Stop War” at Puri beach of Odisha...

A villager on his way to collect drinking water wades through flood waters carrying a vessel...

A villager on his way to collect drinking water wades through flood waters carrying a vessel...

Muslims burn a flag of Israel as they protest against Israel's attack on Gaza, after friday...

Muslims burn a flag of Israel as they protest against Israel's attack on Gaza, after friday...

Army jawans lighting lamps at 'Kargil war Wall Memorial' to pay tribute during the celebrations...

Army jawans lighting lamps at 'Kargil war Wall Memorial' to pay tribute during the celebrations...

Ancient passage stairs found during the underground Jaipur Metro train work at Choti Chopad...

Ancient passage stairs found during the underground Jaipur Metro train work at Choti Chopad...

Gold Medalist India's Abhinav Bindra, Silver Medalist Abdullah Baki of Bangladesh...

Gold Medalist India's Abhinav Bindra, Silver Medalist Abdullah Baki of Bangladesh...

A Malaysia Airlines crew member places a flower next to candles forming the letters MH17...

A Malaysia Airlines crew member places a flower next to candles forming the letters MH17...

Boats head out to the mouth of St. Johns River at dawn during the start of the Greater...

Boats head out to the mouth of St. Johns River at dawn during the start of the Greater...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523