New Delhi: Hunting is considered to be one of the cruelest practices that wildlife is subjected to.
Now illegalized in many countries across the globe, hunting is an ancient custom that consisted of trapping and killing animals for food and which is now, for some, a means of pure entertainment.
However, marred by selfish motives, humankind consists of such people as well, who indulge in the brutal practice even after it being illegal.
The knowledge of this fact apparently makes a leading online retailer think that its okay to sell wildlife specimens as well as hunting equipment.
Amazon.com has incurred the wrath of a Delhi-based NGO called Wildlife SOS, who had discovered that Amazon was selling these equipments.
Suggesting that the online retailer has been encouraging the practice of hunting, that is illegal in India as well, the NGO has started a petition that urges Amazon to stop selling wildlife specimens and hunting equipment, that encourage or propagate maiming, hunting and killing of wildlife.
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, etc., are up for sale on Amazon, according to the claims of Wildlife SOS.
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.
The petition has gathered nearly 7,000 signatures, with animal lovers across the globe expressing their outrage and vowing to boycott the retailer, it 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.
(With PTI inputs)