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Acting on a complaint by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the Kokrajhar police of Assam and Kachugaon forest division apprehended YouTuber Jahid Lifestyle for capturing parakeets from the wild and offering them for sale on his YouTube channel.

They also recovered and seized two parakeets from his possession.

The special operation was carried out in the Gossaigaon area by Kokrajhar police.

PETA India had made a formal complaint to the principal chief conservator of forests, Assam, and the divisional forest officer, Kachugaon.

A preliminary offence report has been registered by the Kachugaon forest division under sections 9, 39, and 51 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972, against the accused for poaching, capturing and selling wild parakeets against the provisions of the act.

Parakeets are protected under Schedule IV of the WPA, 1972, and capturing, keeping, or selling them is a punishable offence.

In the videos, the YouTuber and his accomplices are seen entering forested areas, climbing trees to reach the nests of the parakeets, and capturing them.

On the pretext of creating “educational” content on how to raise and feed parakeets, the YouTuber can be seen on video feeding a mixture of processed sugary biscuits and water to the baby parakeets, which is contrary to their natural diet and highly detrimental to their health.

“PETA India commends the Kachugaon forest division for apprehending the culprit and rescuing parakeets, who should never have been caught in the first place and who deserve to be free again. Capturing, buying, selling, or caging parakeets is illegal and can result in a jail term of up to three years, a fine of up to Rs 25,000 or both,” PETA India cruelty response coordinator Saloni Sakaria said.

“Caged birds have nothing to sing about. Birds belong in the sky, never in cages, and we urge anyone who is keeping a bird in this way to turn them into their local forest department or an animal protection group for rehabilitation and to be reunited with a flock,” Saloni Sakaria said.

In the illegal bird trade, countless birds have been torn away from their families and denied everything that is natural and important to them so that they can be sold as “pets” or used as bogus “fortune-tellers”. Fledglings are often snatched from their nests, while other birds panic as they’re caught in traps or nets that can seriously injure or kill them as they struggle to break free.

Captured birds are packed into small boxes, and an estimated 60 per cent of them die in transit from broken wings and legs, thirst, or sheer panic. Those who survive face a bleak, lonely life in captivity, suffering from malnutrition, loneliness, depression, and stress.

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