A video showing the barbaric slaughter of an endangered bird species “African Grey”, has started circulating on social media.
The video shows men donning the Customs uniform at the scene of the slaughter of these birds, suspected of being trafficked into the country.
The video, shared abundantly on Facebook, shows birds being slaughtered while other birds are in cages nearby. The voice of a man can be heard telling others that it was barbaric to slaughter birds in this fashion. However, it is not clear when the incident took place.
African Grey is one of the oldest of its kind in the parrot family. It is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) act.
CITES is a convention, formed in 1973, that controls international trade of endangered species of wild fauna and flora.
Responding to a question posed by VNews, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) slammed the method used to kill the birds shown in the video.
Director General of EPA, Ibrahim Naeem said there are clear guidelines of slaughter given in the Islamic Shariah. The killing of any species imported illegally is the last resort, under the CITES convention which Maldives is party to, he said.
He further said that they would investigate the matter to confirm whether all necessary steps were taken to reach the decision to slaughter the birds.
Some media outlets cited that the agricultural ministry said the video was taken in 2014, and that any species is killed after importers are given a time period to send them back, whereby if they fail the necessary actions are taken.
Speaking to VNews, the owner of “AVA Exotic Bird and Breeding Farm”, an importer of birds to Maldives, Ahmed Vikram said the birds shown in the video were imported by a friend of his. He also said that the permission to import is given by the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, hence the actions of the ministry are not proper.
Vikram also said the ministry does not give a sufficient time period for re-exporting, which is in violation of the CITES act.
“Say a person imported a bird illegally. Even if they did it knowingly or unknowingly, they should be given a sufficient time period to send it back. Most birds are not quarantined well, there are no vets available and they are killed by slaughtering or putting in ice water. This simply should not be done”, Vikram said.