Two people were arrested on Thursday for allegedly killing crows and selling their meat to chicken stalls in Rameswaram. The police have seized around 150 dead birds from the accused.
This horrific killing of crows for food came to light when pilgrims at the temple town noticed the birds dying after feeding on the rice offered by them in memory of their forefathers. Authorities were quickly alerted.
The officials conducted an enquiry and found that the birds died after consuming liquor-laced food offered by the poachers, who sold their meat to chicken stalls. These stalls then mixed the crow meat with chicken meat, before selling it to roadside eateries, they added.
Police are likely to investigate road side eateries for further information on the use of crows as a substitute for chicken. According to reports, the accused in the case allegedly laced food with liquor as opposed to casting a net to catch the crows, to avoid detection. The birds were then covered in a sack till they became completely unconscious.
In November 2019, Chennai saw a similar scare when officials from the Food Safety Department discovered over 2000 kilograms of rotting meat in a train from Jodhpur to Chennai. In addition to failing to follow the protocol for shipping of meat, there was also suspicions that the consignment was dog meat.
The long tails on the carcasses led to panic amongst people who keenly studied the images. It took five days for the Food Safety department to declare that the suspicions were wrong. A carcass was sent to the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and animal sciences university, with a request for identification of the species. A molecular technique along with a study of the anatomical features resulted in the conclusion that it was either sheep or goat.
(With inputs from PTI)