Monday 21 April 2014
News updated at 11:55 PM IST
Weather
Max: 35°C
Min : 22°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
People purchasing mangoes at Russel Market Bangalore. DH photo

People purchasing mangoes at Russel Market Bangalore. DH photo

Members of the Christian community praying on the occassion of Easter Sunday at the Sacred Heart...

Members of the Christian community praying on the occassion of Easter Sunday at the Sacred Heart...

Pope Francis leaves after celebrating an Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican...

Pope Francis leaves after celebrating an Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican...

Children holding Easter Egg during the prayer at 'Platt Memorial' Church in Bangalore on Sunday...

Children holding Easter Egg during the prayer at 'Platt Memorial' Church in Bangalore on Sunday...

Christians offer prayers on easter day, at St Mary's Cathedral, in Bangalore. DH photo

Christians offer prayers on easter day, at St Mary's Cathedral, in Bangalore. DH photo

A man waits for customers while selling 'samosas',  along a road divider in Karachi. Reuters photo

A man waits for customers while selling 'samosas', along a road divider in Karachi. Reuters photo

A man pours water on a competitor during a road race as part of traditional festival games to ...

A man pours water on a competitor during a road race as part of traditional festival games to ...

A man baths using a pipe that supplies water to trains at a railway station in the southern...

A man baths using a pipe that supplies water to trains at a railway station in the southern...

A butterfly and a honey bee fight to collect nectar from a flower in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI Photo

A butterfly and a honey bee fight to collect nectar from a flower in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI Photo

A man and his bullock cart crashes with a truck at a race during traditional festival games to ...

A man and his bullock cart crashes with a truck at a race during traditional festival games to ...

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