Bird trafficking is a major economic sector in Middle East and each year, approximately 1.7-4.6 million birds end up dying in this cruel network. Various exotic bird species, like the flamingo, are being sold dead or alive on a daily basis for entertainment, as a garden "decoration" or even for consumption purposes. The region remains a popular immigration center for these bird species who are hunted down and kept in dark, unfavourable rooms where they await to be sold.
A recent interview made with one of these illegal bird sellers in Iraq further highlights the extent of this cruel network as he admits his customers will buy such birds even if they're dead because most of them buy flamingos, or any other bird, really, for their meat.
Although there are bans on hunting exotic bird species, these sellers continue to run their business secretly since they still attract customers who are willing to commit to this inhumane sector. Thus, unless the governments enforce disincentive laws, this cruel act will remain a big threat to wildlife, the ecosystem and will lead to a massive destruction if not prevented soon.