Chandigarh: The Animal Welfare Board of India has sought a report from the Union ministry of environment and forests on an alleged violation of animal welfare rules by Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Last week, the Punjab local bodies minister found himself in the middle of a controversy for bringing a stuffed black partridge from Pakistan, in violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and gifting it to Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh.
The board has sought the report from the ministry’s director general of forests, additional director general and chief wildlife warden.
The stuffed partridge was gifted to Sidhu by a journalist in Pakistan, Imran Khan, when he was there for the groundbreaking ceremony of the proposed Kartarpur Sahib corridor.
Taking cognizance of news reports, board chairperson S P Gupta has written to the director general of forests, additional director general and chief wildlife warden on the issue and asked them to submit a report within three days for necessary action if any offense is committed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
Hunting of partridge is banned in the country, but the bird was already stuffed when gifted. There was a lack of clarity over whether a stuffed bird gifted by someone abroad can be kept in India.
A Haryana-based wildlife activist, Naresh Kadyan, had also approached the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) against Sidhu. The activist had sought FIR against Sidhu for violating Section 39 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.