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Endangered bird meat dinner

6th February, 2003

It has been alleged that the menu served at the birthday dinner, organized for IAS officer Priyanabrata Patnaik at the Bhubhaneswar club on the 17th January 2003, included endangered waterfowl meat. A long list of influential individuals from the bureaucratic, political and business arena and some journalists attended the dinner.

The accusation suggests that nearly 100 birds, of species protected under Indian law, were purchased from poachers, who operate around Chilka Lake, to serve at the dinner party. The species that were apparently on the menu included gadwalls, shoevellers, wigeons, pochards and pintails. Chilka Lake is a designated Ramsar site of international importance. The prevalence of local poaching, fueled by markets like that in Bhubhaneswar, continues to deplete the rich bird life at this lake.

Renowned conservationist and the State Coordinator of the Indian Bird Conservation Network, Biswajit Mohanty has demanded a CBI inquiry to identify the people responsible. Presently, the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state has been commissioned by the Orissa government to look into the allegations. However, it is felt that only an agency independent of the state government would be able to do justice to the inquiry which involves the state’s bureaucracy.

This dinner is not the first of its kind. A few years ago a high profile dinner in Andhra Pradesh had faced similar accusations.


 



 

 

 

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