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Raid pet shops, animal breeders, says Maneka

Last updated: 22 February, 2010
Bangalore, Feb 22, DHNS: 23:10 IST

Wildlife trade is bigger than drug peddling, claims former minister

''Wildlife trade is bigger than drug peddling in India. Animal breeders, pet shops and aquariums are hotspots for wildlife business in the country.''

“There is a need to conduct raids and sting operations on such joints to keep a tap on their transactions," former Union minister for environment Maneka Gandhi said. After inaugurating a 'Knowledge Centre' at the People for Animals (PFA) here on Monday, she said wildlife cannot be saved by blogging or sms-ing.

Rehabilitating animals is as important as rescuing them and volunteers must also learn to provide first aid to the injured animals, she said. She said, "I would love to be a vegan, but sometimes when somebody offers me a cake, I do take it. Although I do not drink milk or eat eggs, I do like to have curd sometimes," she said.

She said peacocks are strangled for their feathers, but the minister concerned was yet to impose a ban on selling the feathers. "Peacock drops just one feather in the month, normally in July/August. But the traders kill them and pluck the feathers,” she said suggesting the volunteers to investigate into the issue.

The tail of the mongoose, she said, was used to make paint brushes. "It takes seven mongoose tails to make one brush and some of the leading stationery manufacturers are involved in these activities," she said.

She expressed concern over the trade of injecting red, blue and green colours into the endangered Glass Fish species which are sold in foreign countries. There are only 140 Hornbills left in India. The Hornbills, which sow the banyan seeds, are killed for their beak to make hats and jewellery, she added.

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