Lifestyle Environment 20 Sep 2016 Kerala: Peacocks are ...

Kerala: Peacocks aren’t in fine feather

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Sep 20, 2016, 6:50 am IST
Updated Sep 20, 2016, 6:56 am IST
The Forest Department has turned its back on the trade of peacock feathers.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests had earlier stated that the ‘craze’ for peacock feathers has led to the increase in the mortality of peacocks in the country.
 The Ministry of Environment and Forests had earlier stated that the ‘craze’ for peacock feathers has led to the increase in the mortality of peacocks in the country.

Thiruvananthapuram: If at all there was bloodshed during the Onam pageantry that marked the conclusion of the Onam Celebrations in the city on September 19, it went unnoticed.= The question raised by animal activists is whether the luminous peacock feathers that were showcased by ‘neelakavadi’ and ‘ammankoda’ artistes were shed by the birds or were plucked out of their bodies after killing them. The Forest Department, though it has been asked to crack down on illegal peacock hunting, has allowed the pageantry to pass without any hassle.

Heritage Animal Task Force secretary V K Venkitachalam suspects that peacocks were killed to extract the feathers. He argues that the feathers used by the dancers were neat and tidy. “Once a peacock sheds its feathers, it will walk over them causing them to break into many parts. Such naturally shed feathers are not as perfect as the ones on show,” Venkitachalam said. The Ministry of Environment and Forests had earlier stated that the ‘craze’ for peacock feathers has led to the increase in the mortality of peacocks in the country.  

 

The peacock is pampered only on paper; considering its religious significance, a series of exemptions have been provided under the Wildlife Protection Act for the transport, transfer and trade in peacock tail feathers. As a consequence, the Forest Department has turned its back on the trade of peacock feathers. The IG of Forests had specifically instructed the department to ensure that feathers were sold only with their shafts intact. Traces of blood on the base of the shaft will reveal that the feather was forcibly plucked.

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