Earlier this week, the government said that rare animals and their body parts are being sold on various ecommerce sites. In a reply to Rajya Sabha, Environment Minister Anil Dave, said, “Several websites are seen advertising sale of rare animals and their parts.”
The response also mentions a total of 106 websites, collated by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), that are allegedly involved in the trade on animals and their parts, including Snapdeal, Quikr, Olx, Ebay, Amazon and Alibaba.
He further added that the trade is being monitored under relevant laws existing under Department of Information Technology at both State and Central Government as a part of combating cybercrime.
However, the letter did not mention any legal actions that have been promptly taken. Most ecommerce platforms perform the role of a marketplace. This makes it impossible to keep track of each and every seller and each product on their marketplace. But the IT Act makes it mandatory for the marketplaces to act upon being notified about such wrongdoings by sellers.
Talking about this, a Snapdeal spokesperson said, “We work closely with WCCB, which has provided an updated list of banned products in June 2016 to facilitate detection of any attempts by sellers to list such products on online marketplaces. We are fully committed to support the Environment Ministry in this endeavour.”
Dave said that several steps have been taken to prevent such illegal activities –
- The government is using the services of Cyber Crime Specialist on contractual basis, to carry out regular cyber patrolling
- On detection of such offers, details are retrieved of the suspect and the information is passed on to relevant enforcement agencies for legal action
- A meeting of representatives from online trade portals was convened on 19th May 2016 to discuss issues pertaining to online wildlife trade and to discuss modalities to assist Wildlife Crime Control Bureau in case of such detection;
- If any such offer is detected, details are retrieved of the suspect and information is passed on to relevant enforcement agencies for legal action