In Bangladesh, the sale of wild birds may be illegal, but that hasn’t stopped a thriving online market from emerging. Despite the risks of zoonotic disease transmission and threats to bird species, lax laws and limited authority allow online dealers to continue their operations with minimal consequences. With the allure of birds that can mimic humans as cage pets, such as those sold by well-known sellers Masud Rana, Arif, and Ibrahim, more people are drawn into this illegal trade. The absence of provisions in wildlife conservation laws and a lack of recognition of offenses by the general public and government bodies contribute to the market’s growth. As online bird shows and sales continue to expand on social media, law enforcement agencies like the Wildlife Crime Control Unit struggle to impose penalties due to legal loopholes and limited powers.
In Bangladesh, the illegal wildlife trade has become a concerning issue, particularly when it comes to the trade of wild birds. Despite the illegality of capturing, caging, and selling wild birds, a thriving online market for these creatures has emerged. This article will explore the factors contributing to the growth of this market and the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in curbing this illegal trade.
The Emergence of Online Market for Wild Birds
Despite the illegality, the online market for wild birds in Bangladesh has been thriving. With the advancement of technology and increased access to the internet, the trade has found a new platform to flourish. Online platforms provide an easy and anonymous way for people to engage in the buying and selling of these birds.
Several factors have contributed to the growth of the online market for wild birds. One of the primary factors is the lax laws and limited authority of the Wildlife Crime Control Unit (WCCU). The WCCU faces various challenges in effectively controlling wildlife crimes and lacks the power to impose stringent penalties on offenders. As a result, online dealers often obtain quick bail and continue their operations, further encouraging more people to enter the trade.
Risk of Zoonotic Disease Transmission
The illegal hunting, capturing, and selling of wild birds not only poses a threat to the survival of bird species but also raises the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. The close contact between humans and wild birds can lead to the transmission of infectious diseases. These diseases can have severe health implications for humans, including respiratory infections and even potential outbreaks.
Well-Known Online Sellers
Within the online market for wild birds, there are several well-known sellers who attract customers with their offerings. Masud Rana, Arif, and Ibrahim are among the notable names in this trade. These sellers specifically target customers by selling birds that can mimic human voices. Birds with this unique ability are highly sought after as cage pets, and the sellers capitalize on this demand.
Selling Birds That Can Mimic Humans
The ability of certain bird species to mimic human voices is a significant factor in attracting customers in the online market. These birds, such as parrots, are trained to mimic various sounds, including human speech. This unique characteristic appeals to many individuals, who are fascinated by the idea of having a pet that can mimic their own voice.
Claims of Capturing Birds from Forests
To appeal to customers and justify their trade, online sellers often make assertions about sourcing their birds from forests rather than breeding them in captivity. They claim that their selling activities are seasonal and spontaneous, adding a sense of rarity and exclusivity to their offerings. However, it is difficult to verify the authenticity of these claims, and the sellers may exploit the lack of transparency in the market.
Gaps in Wildlife Conservation Law
One of the underlying issues contributing to the growth of the online market for wild birds is the lack of provisions in the existing wildlife conservation law in Bangladesh to check the sale of such birds. The law fails to address the specific challenges posed by the trade in wild birds and lacks the regulatory measures needed to combat this illegal activity effectively.
Limited Recognition of Offenses
The sale, purchase, and caging of wild birds are not widely recognized as offenses by the general public and various government bodies. There is a lack of awareness about the detrimental impact of the trade on bird species and the potential risks to human health. The public perception and limited recognition of these offenses further hinder efforts to combat the illegal trade.
Challenges Faced by Law Enforcement Agencies
Law enforcement agencies, like the WCCU, face numerous challenges in their efforts to impose penalties on illegal sellers. Legal loopholes and limited powers make it difficult for these agencies to effectively crack down on the online market for wild birds. The lack of stringent regulations and loopholes in the existing laws enable offenders to continue their activities with little fear of consequences.
In conclusion, the thriving online market for wild birds in Bangladesh poses a significant threat to bird species and human health. The lax laws, limited authority of law enforcement agencies, and gaps in wildlife conservation laws contribute to the growth of this illegal trade. It is essential for the government and relevant authorities to take robust actions to combat this issue, strengthen regulations, raise awareness among the public, and provide law enforcement agencies with necessary resources and powers to enforce penalties on illegal sellers.