Birds have rights to "live with dignity" and to be free from the pain of being kept in cages, a High Court in India has ruled.
An animal rights organization in India, People for Animals, came to the aid of birds held captive by seller Md Mohazzim - and brought him to court. People for Animals said that Mohazzim was selling the birds in tiny cages without enough food or water.
At first, it seemed the birds were beyond help. At a trial court, the birds were released back into Mohazzim's custody on the grounds that Mohazzim was just keeping them as pets. But People for Animals appealed to a higher court because they could show that Mohazzim was selling the birds for profit and neglecting them - and they had photos of the birds living in deplorable conditions to prove it.
People for Animals presented photographs of the caged birds to the court, claiming that keeping birds in such small cages violates the Prevention of Cruelty Act. And High Court Judge Manmohan Singh was inclined to agree, stating that "all the birds have fundamental rights to fly in the sky and all human beings have no right to keep them in small cages for the purposes of their business or otherwise."