Making shocking allegations against online retailer Amazon, a wildlife body has claimed that the website was selling wildlife specimens that include sea horses and alligator heads that are protected under the country’s laws. Wildlife SOS has urged the company to immediately stop their sale. SOS has claimed that the website was selling an array of wildlife trophies, snares and manuals on hunting including alligator heads, preserved snakes, butterflies, starfish, rare beetles and seahorses along with dangerous trapping and killing devices like snares.
The body noted it was “incredulous” that a company like Amazon would list items for sale listed under protected species in India.
An Amazon India spokesperson, however, said the company supports wildlife protection efforts and it was in the process of informing the seller about the concerns raised so that “corrective action” can be taken.
“Amazon.in supports wildlife protection efforts. We are in the process of informing the seller of the concerns raised so that the seller can take corrective action wherever necessary,” the spokesperson said.
A petition has been launched by SOS in which it has asked Amazon to stop selling such items that encourage or propagate maiming, hunting and killing of wildlife. The petition has been signed by 7000 people and the animal lovers across the world have expressed their outrage and have even vowed to boycott the retailer, SOS said.
The campaign aims not just to implore the website to stop selling these items but also educating people about snares and the suffering caused to innocent animals by their use, it said in a statement.
Quoting Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, the statement said, “The government 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.”
It alleged that traps and snares are being sold on one of the world’s leading online retailer’s website (Amazon) 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.
Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder of Wildlife SOS said the body had recently rescued a three-month old sloth bear cub who lost her limb because of a snare like the ones that Amazon sells on their website. The snare had torn off the cub’s 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 and 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,” she said.
Meanwhile, Kartick Satyanarayan another co-founder of the body said it seemed “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. “Surely a company like Amazon does not need revenue from propagating cruelty and endangering wildlife that the rest of India is struggling to protect. Amazon must remove these items and help us keep wildlife safe,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)