Press Esc to close

'Protect owls from being sacrificed during Diwali'

New Delhi: Nov 8, 2012 DH News Service 0:13 IST
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

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Deepika Padukone with child artists at the promotion of film Padmavati...

Deepika Padukone with child artists at the promotion of film Padmavati...

Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Deepika Padukone at the promotion of film Padmavati...

Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Deepika Padukone at the promotion of film Padmavati...

Shilpa Shetty Kundra with husband Raj Kundra during an event...

Shilpa Shetty Kundra with husband Raj Kundra during an event...

Shikhar Dhawan and L Rahul during Day 4 of the first cricket test math against Sri Lanka...

Shikhar Dhawan and L Rahul during Day 4 of the first cricket test math against Sri Lanka...

Devotees offer prayers to Lord Ayyappa at Bindapur...

Devotees offer prayers to Lord Ayyappa at Bindapur...

Devotees from Mymnmar going to offer huge robe to Lord Buddha at Bodhgaya Mahabodhi temple...

Devotees from Mymnmar going to offer huge robe to Lord Buddha at Bodhgaya Mahabodhi temple...

Contingents of various countries taking part in march past during the opening ceremony of AIBA....

Contingents of various countries taking part in march past during the opening ceremony of AIBA....

Music composer A R Rahman performs at The Sufi Route concert at Qutub Minar....

Music composer A R Rahman performs at The Sufi Route concert at Qutub Minar....

An army jawan performs a fire stunt during a 'Know Your Army' programme...

An army jawan performs a fire stunt during a 'Know Your Army' programme...

Players of Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa vie for the ball during an ISL match...

Players of Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa vie for the ball during an ISL match...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.