The Attorney General’s Office has claimed that the import regulation for birds in the Maldives, gives the option to transport the birds back to the country of origin, instead of killing them.
According to the AG Office, the birds that were imported to the Maldives were not on the list of birds allowed to be imported to the island nation.
With this being said, the office revealed that the opportunity to transport the birds back to the country of origin was available instead of putting them down, under the list of measures penned by the authorities.
The office went on to reveal that the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture had not followed this recommendation, adding that the individual who imported the birds would have had to carry the responsibility of expenses required to send the birds back to their countries of origin or even put them down.
According to the documents received by the office, the birds were captured after finding out they were imported illegally, during September, October and November of 2021. While the birds were quarantined, the authority have not taken any measures against the importer, to date.
The fisheries ministry had however, amended the list of birds allowed to be imported to the Maldives and publicized it on 13 December 2021.
Following this, the Ministry sought from the AG Office for an approval to release the birds to the importer. With this, the office had recommended to follow the regulations that were effective when the birds were imported and placed under quarantine.
Highlighting that an extensive period of time had passed since the birds were quarantined, without taking the required action stated in the regulations, the AG Office had also recommended to implement measures against those found negligent in the case, under the set procedure.
The birds were put down at the Velana International Airport’s Plant and Animal Unit. Sources have reported that put down were 120 birds, valued at MVR 800,000.
The fisheries ministry revealed that the birds were put down under the advice of the AG Office.
The authority has come under fire following the cruel procedure.
The Environment Protection Agency’s Director General Ibrahim Naeem told RaajjeMV that the case has been brought to their attention. He revealed that this was the procedure that has been followed for a long time, however, a different approach is needed. Naeem stated that the regulations and laws need to be amended in a way that brings an end to the procedure of killing illegally imported birds.