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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

THAILAND - Birds in plastic bags spark anger online

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A photo of several birds confined in a small plastic bag outside a popular temple in Ayutthaya, waiting to be freed by 'compassionate' visitors, sparked another round of social media outrage, even though the animal release has long been part of making merit for Thai and Chinese Buddhists. 

The photo was posted on Monday by Facebook user Friends Not Food - Thailand, who wrote:

"Yesterday, I went to Wat Phanan Choeng in Ayutthaya. There are dozens of shops selling fish, turtles and birds. They are held captive in plastic bags for days and nights. Look at the animals' condition. Only inhumane people can do this.

"Beliefs like freeing turtles will make you live longer, and setting the birds and fish free will bring you good luck are for the gullible and stupid. No one is doing anything about this. No monks dare to teach people that this is not a Buddhist path.

"Let us do something about this and put these animal sellers out of business by sharing this post and telling our friends, colleagues and everyone around us to do the right thing.

"This evil business has to be driven out of the country and we Buddhists must stop being gullible. Follow the actual teachings of Lord Buddha!".

Net users called on authorities to take legal action against animal sellers around temples.

Facebook user Danai Kaewpradit, whose comment received the most 'likes', wrote that the birds in the picture are scaly-breasted Munia, which are protected under the Thailand Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act.

Another Facebook user commented that sellers usually drugged these creatures so that they would later return to captivity after their release, to be sold again. Many rivers and ponds near temples are polluted, and freed animals are often in ill-health.

Source: BangkokPost

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