More peacocks found dead in Rajasthan

February 26th, 2011 - 8:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, Feb 26 (IANS) Adding to the growing concern over peacock poaching in Rajasthan, at least seven more of the birds were found dead in Ajmer district’s Bhaghera town. The dead peacocks were found Thursday evening in an agriculture farm with wheat grains scattered around them.

The police said Saturday they suspected the grains were laced with poison.

The villagers informed the district authorities and the local police station in-charge and sub-divisional magistrate rushed to the spot.

The carcasses were taken to nearby Kekari town for autopsy.

The latest deaths came close on the heels of many incidents of poaching of peacocks, India’s national bird, in the state.

Animal rights activists allege at least 10 birds are being killed every day.

Some non-government organisations (NGOs) have written letters to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot expressing concerns over peacock poaching and urging him to take stern action.

Activists claimed that in the past two weeks, around 250 peacocks have been either poached or poisoned to death in at least 20 incidents in Bikaner, Nagaur, Sikar, Chittorgarh and Bundi districts of the state.

“Peacocks are killed for feather and meat. Oil is also extracted from their body. Farmers also poison them to protect their fields,” said Babulal Jaju, state head of People For Animal, an NGO.

He added that the bird is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and poachers can be sentenced to seven years of imprisonment with a fine of Rs.50,000.

“Despite that, peacock killings are going on unabated in the state,” said Jaju.

“In our letter to the chief minister, we have pointed out the indifferent approach of the forest department. We have demanded that action should be taken against the forest, administration and police officials of the area where peacock killings are reported,” said Jaju.

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