While it may be fascinating to see videos of people sharing their homes with wild animals, it is not wise to keep them. By wild animals we don’t mean a ferocious lion or cheetah! There are a lot of exotic pets and species of endangered animals that are listed as “banned pets” in India. While you may think owning a parrot or a tortoise is harmless, keeping them as pets is not just unethical but illegal, and can land you in jail.
Here are a few pets banned in India.
Keeping birds in captivity is cruel – but a lot of us believe a bird is a hassle-free pet to have. Birds like Rose Ringed Parakeet, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red Munia and Jungle Maina are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act. Even the African grey parrot, Blue-throated Macaw and Yellow-crested Cockatoo are protected from international commercial trade under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Tortoise and turtles
Some species of tortoise and turtles are not legal to own in India. Since most people can’t differentiate between kinds of tortoise, it’s easy to get misled into buying or owning an endangered species. The Indian Star Tortoise and the Red Ear Slider are among a few types of reptiles that are unsuitable for rearing in an apartment space, and illegal to own.
As soothing as it may be to have an aquarium filled with beautiful marine fish, it is not practical to keep these sea animals in cramped, small water bowls. These fishes don’t survive for long without salt water. Cetaceans (dolphin or porpoise), penguins, otters and manatees are banned according to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It is also prohibited to keep or sell a few species of endangered fish.
India might be known for snake charmers but it is illegal to own any native wildlife snake species here. It is very important not to support any illegal trade as many of these animals are taken from the wild and a lot of them die in the process.
Monkeys are revered in Hinduism and devout Hindus often feed them. Monkeys, like other wild animals, can’t be kept and trained for entertainment purposes in India under Section 22 (ii), PCA Act 1960.
— Swati Tandon, pet expert
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