Houbara Bustards’ hunting stayed

LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Thursday observed that the 33 permits issued by the federal government to foreign dignitaries of the five countries of Gulf Region to hunt internationally protected Houbara Bustards during the hunting season 2013-14 were unlawful.
With these observations, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah also ordered the federal government to restrain these permits holders from hunting Houbara Bustards in Punjab, till the next date of hearing. February 10. The court was hearing a petition against hunting Houbara Bustard and challenging 33 special permits issued by the government to Arab Kings and their family members.
As hearing started, the petitioner’s counsel Advocate Kalim Ilyas submitted that the said permits could not be issued by the federal government and were in violation of sections 2(n) and 9(ii) read with The Punjab Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) (Amendment) Act, 2007. The act also prohibited their hunting especially when the birds are pregnant or accompanied by suckling birds.
According to IUCN Report, Pakistan was one of the 16 countries of the world that were breeding places for Houbara Bustards.

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