Birds are being shot using air guns in different parts of the country, the government said in Parliament while terming it a "serious" issue and that appropriate action is taken by states against it.
Responding to a query raised by Mathura MP Hema Malini whether birds are being shot in the country using air guns, Minister of State for Environment Ashwini Choubey said his ministry is "aware" of the issue.
"The ministry is aware that birds are shot using air guns in different parts of the country. Appropriate action under applicable statutes is taken by the respective states/Union Territories as and when such cases are reported," Choubey said in his written reply on Monday.
"Keeping in view of the seriousness of the issue, the states/Union Territories organise regular awareness programmes during various occasions to sensitise people for the protection of birds. Bird festivals, nature walks, etc. are also organised for involving youth and the general public which help in the protection of wildlife and their habitats," he said.
On being asked if the government was working on any scheme for running a campaign to get air guns surrendered in the whole country, Choubey said the ministry provides financial assistance to the states/Union Territories under Centrally Sponsored Scheme 'Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat', which also includes activities for awareness generation among public for the protection of wildlife, including birds.
"Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland have initiated a drive for creating public awareness against the hunting of birds and launched campaigns for surrender for air guns on a voluntary basis. As reported by the states, 1,671 air guns have been surrendered in Arunachal Pradesh and 150 airguns in Nagaland," he said.