Madurai

Crows poached for meat in Dindigul village

The meat allegedly is served in TASMAC bars

A group of men allegedly poached crows at Kolathur near here on Sunday morning.

Subbaiah Bharathidasan, who runs an environmental NGO in Coimbatore, was visiting his native village Kolathur here on Sunday, when he saw three men clad in lungis and shirts, poaching crows in the village. “When I enquired them why they were killing the birds, they fled on a two-wheeler leaving behind the dead birds,” alleged Mr. Bharathidasan.

The men allegedly mixed pesticide with a snack to poach the birds which fell dead after consuming it. The youth then collected them in a gunny bag.

“Locals said that it has been a regular practice for these men to poach crows in the surroundings, particularly during weekends. The villagers said that the men poached crows in Nallamanarkottai village in the same area. I suspect that these birds are poached for meat,” he alleged.

Mr Bharathidasan lodged a complaint with the Chief Conservator of Forests after which a guard was sent to the spot. However, the poachers had fled by then.

“If the dead birds are sent to the toxicology department of Salim Ali Centre in Coimbatore, the pesticide can be identified. Since crows are classified as 'vermin' in the Wildlife Protection Act, they are one of the least protected species. Crows are scavengers and hence, important to the environment. The birds have to be protected,” he said.

An official from the Forest Department, said, “People have to inform the forest department if they see crows being poached. Though crows are not protected under any schedule, the offenders can still be booked under the Wildlife Protection Act for poisoning any animal/bird.”

Another conservationist from Oddanchatram said that similar instances of crow poaching were reported from Pallapatti, Aravakurichi areas in the neighbouring Karur district in the past.

“More than the forest department, the health department should intervene in the matter as it's more dangerous to humans who consumer crows poached with pesticides,” he said.

Designated Officer (Food Safety) K. Natarajan, said, “Selling crow meat as poultry meat amounts to misleading consumers and the offenders can be fined up to ₹10 lakh, as per law. The raw meat should be confiscated and sent for genetic test to identify the bird.”

“The matter will be looked into and action taken soon,” he added.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:48:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/crows-poached/article28235856.ece

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