NEW DELHI- Another hot debate is full on swing in India regarding whether caging birds amount to violation of their fundamental right to fly or not.
According to the Indian newspaper, The Times of India, the Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide an issue relating to bird’s right. A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justices Shiva Kirti Singh and Amitava Roy agreed to examine the validity of a Gujarat High Court order holding that birds have a fundamental right to move freely in the sky and this must be respected by not caging them.
The HC had said keeping birds in cages would be tantamount to illegal confinement that violates the rights of birds to live in their natural environment, that is the free sky and that it is the duty of every citizen to see that no unnecessary pain on suffering is caused to them.
Challenging the HC order, Pet Lovers’ Association, an NGO, told the bench that the order is illegal as it is contrary to the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Wild Life Protection Act. It said keeping birds in house and trading them is not prohibited.
While the letter and spirit of the law will be argued before the SC, the confinement of birds does not seem at par with common household pets like dogs and cats. A cage, even a sizable one, is no substitute for what birds are used to and even avians bred in captivity do not attempt to return once they escape from a cage unlike a dog or a cat.
Delhi High Court also in its May 17 order held that birds have fundamental rights, including the right to live with dignity, and they cannot be subjected to cruelty by anyone.