Press Esc to close
Saturday 01 November 2014
News updated at 5:13 PM IST
Weather
Max: 25°C
Min : 19°C
In Bangalore
Partially cloudy

'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
A view of the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the occasion of his birth anniversary...

A view of the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the occasion of his birth anniversary...

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi paying tribute to former Prime Minister...

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi paying tribute to former Prime Minister...

Artists perform during a function on the occasion of birth anniversary of Sardar...

Artists perform during a function on the occasion of birth anniversary of Sardar...

Members of Thamizhar Vazhvurimai Koottamaippu during a protest against Sri Lankan court's...

Members of Thamizhar Vazhvurimai Koottamaippu during a protest against Sri Lankan court's...

Indian cricket players during their practice session at barabati stadium in Cuttack...

Indian cricket players during their practice session at barabati stadium in Cuttack...

Delhi Police band performs at India Gate near Amar Jawan Jyoti to salute Sardar...

Delhi Police band performs at India Gate near Amar Jawan Jyoti to salute Sardar...

Army soldiers patrolling after an IED was recovered in a gas cylinder near the Circuit House...

Army soldiers patrolling after an IED was recovered in a gas cylinder near the Circuit House...

Tourist take pictures from a boat as people bath in the Ganges river in Varanasi...

Tourist take pictures from a boat as people bath in the Ganges river in Varanasi...

Devendra Fadnavis being sworn-in as the new Maharashtra Chief Minister by Governor...

Devendra Fadnavis being sworn-in as the new Maharashtra Chief Minister by Governor...

A camel herder sits as he feeds his camels at the annual cattle fair in Pushkar, in the Rajasthan...

A camel herder sits as he feeds his camels at the annual cattle fair in Pushkar, in the Rajasthan...

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