Q: Is the parakeet trade legal in India? I saw rose-ringed, plum-headed and Alexandrine parakeets all in captivity. I saw in Jaipur rabbits for Rs. 2200, plum-headed parakeets Rs. 600 for a pair, etc. while returning from photography

Asked by Siddharth Tiwari

Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee, Wildlife First:

Parakeets (Psittacidae) are listed in Schedule IV Entry 50 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Therefore they are protected and cannot be trapped, kept in captivity or sold. The punishment for such offences is imprisonment for a term up to three years or fine of Twenty five thousand rupees or both.

If you have photographs and other evidence you can contact the Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan in Jaipur. If you wish not to be identified you can request that your name be kept confidential. The local police can also initiate action as they are empowered under the law.

Additional note from Shekar Dattatri, Conservation India:

Domestic rabbits are not covered under the Wildlife Act. However, if any of these creatures are being kept under unhygienic or crowded conditions, you can also prefer a complaint to the Animal Welfare Board or the local branch of the SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) or PFA (People for Animals), who can act on the grounds of cruelty.

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