A wildlife welfare organisation on Friday criticised and urged the US-based online retailer Amazon to take down protected wild and aquatic animal specimens and hunting equipment from its ‘sale list’.
The Wildlife SOS, a Delhi-based NGO, also informed Union Minister Maneka Gandhi about the sale. Gandhi, an animal lover, has condemned the online retailing giant for selling such ware.
Wildlife SOS launched an online petition asking Amazon to stop selling snares and other items that encourage or propagate maiming, hunting and killing of wildlife. The petition has gathered nearly 7,000 signatures so far.
“The Government of India and NGOs like Wildlife SOS are struggling to protect our wildlife and make this country safer for animals, yet we have a giant like Amazon shamefully selling wildlife specimens and animal traps that directly contribute to the slaughter of wildlife,” Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said in a statement, according to Wildlife SOS.
Snares, traps and specimens like alligators, snakes, bats, butterflies, spiders, ladybugs, beetle, scorpions, frogs and several aquatic animals like seahorse, starfish, octopus, crab and shark teeth among others are on sale in both the Indian and international website of Amazon.
Most of the animal specimens being sold, like “the Wild Gator head” have their genuineness guaranteed and customers are assured that these specimens were taken from the wild.
The Amazon website listed these under the ‘Toys and Games’ section.
The snares and traps Amazon offers are described by the website as “best suited for rabbit and squirrel”, but wildlife lovers maintain the snares could be used to trap bigger animals, like leopard and tiger, as well.
“Traps and Snares that Amazon is selling on its website are indiscriminate killing products that will kill anything from a hare, porcupine to a leopard or tiger,” Wildlife SOS said.
The co-founder of Wildlife SOS, Geeta Seshamani said in a statement that a recently rescued three-month old sloth bear cub ‘Rose’ had lost her limb because of a snare like the ones that Amazon sells on its website.
“The snare tore off her left forelimb and left her severely injured and handicapped for the rest of her life. Witnessing the trauma of this bear cub solidified our conviction that snares are the most cruel hunting devices,” Geeta said.
She added, “We were horrified when we discovered that a reputable company like Amazon is selling wildlife trapping equipment like snares online, as well as instruction manuals on how to make your own snares. We urge Amazon to stop doing this.”
Condemning such devices and specimens for being offered online, Wildlife SOS said that these are being sold not just in the USA, but also in India where all wild animals are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and hunting is illegal.
“It seems incredulous that a company like Amazon would list items like wild animal specimens that are listed under protected species in India. We hope Amazon will take these down immediately on compassionate grounds and also in respect of India’s laws and the conservation efforts in India,” said Karthik Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS.