E-marketing websites in Hyderabad are being combed by special anti-poaching squads for any offences against protected species after an order by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB).
The squads plan to check and make websites withdraw 'for sale' advertisements of animals and birds protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act.
They also plan to check for animal cruelty on advertisements that sell domesticated and pet animals.
Earlier, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had complained about online classified sites facilitating sale of wildlife articles protected by law, following which the WCCB issued the order. Many of these breeders are from Vijayawada and Vizianagaram in Andhra.
"We have been able to crack a number of cases where code words for protected species were being offered by smugglers. Also there have been cases which could not be cracked and have been sent to the cyber-crime police. We are up-scaling monitoring of all websites for sale of protected animals and birds. We will also be on the look out for any cruelty met to animals being sold on these websites," Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests, A.Shankaran told the Times of India.
"Most of the breeders who offer domestic animals are illegal as they are not registered with the Animal Welfare Board of India. Under them animals are reared in pathetic conditions," says Nikunj Sharma, campaign strategist, PETA told the newspaper.
Hyderabad officials had earlier nailed a few cases where animals like star tortoises and red sand boa snakes were being sold on online classified websites and they are now doing checks on websites selling animals like hamsters, rabbits, cows, buffalos, sheeps, dogs, horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, kittens, parrots and exotic fishes.