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Peta asks Abhishek, Aishwarya to campaign against cruelty to birds.

Byline: Pamela Raghunath, Correspondent

Mumbai: Bollywood's most talked-about couple, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, have been approached by an animal rights group to raise awareness of the plight of lovebirds held captive in cages.

"The Bachchans, particularly Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya, have been associated with our organisation in the past and it is for this reason that we have written to the young couple to help our campaign," Sachin Bangera from People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) told Gulf News.

Peta has also been encouraged by actor John Abraham joining its campaign to create awareness about the cruelty of keeping birds in cages for the amusement of people. The lovebird, a member of the parrot family that thrives in Africa, is sold in illegal bird markets in India, "particularly in Crawford Market, where they are kept in the most pathetic conditions and sold in a surreptitious manner. I'm sure the police know about it but do nothing about it even though the Mumbai Commissioner's headquarters is just next door," said Bangera.

In a letter to Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Peta functionary Anuradha Sawhney wrote, "As India's most famous 'lovebirds', we believe that you are uniquely suited to help bring attention to the plight of these smart and sensitive animals. We would like to arrange a photo shoot with you for a 'Lovebirds in Cages' ad to raise awareness of this issue".

Some years back, Aishwarya wrote a letter for Peta on behalf of the endangered black rhino that is now thriving in South Africa's SanWild Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and Sanctuary. Amitabh, for his part, was voted India's "hottest vegetarian" three times by Peta supporters.

Peta has constantly campaigned against caging birds, "which is not only cruel but also a punishable offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960".

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jul 8, 2009
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