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Pak SC lifts hunting ban on haubara bustard

Pak SC lifts hunting ban on haubara bustard
A game warden shows one of ten houbara bustard (Chmaydolins undulata) siezed from illegal trader Mohammad Arif and intended for smuggling to Persian gulf states September 16. Resident of the lake Aral region in central Asia, the boubara bustard comes to the arid and semi-arid regions of Pakistan in September and after spending winter here in comparatively warmer environment returns in April. The houraras are widely trapped here illegally and smuggled to gulf states where they fetch nearly US $300 depending on the sex, size and age of the bird.

Islamabad: Pakistan Supreme Court has lifted a ban on the hunting of houbara bustard, a rare desert bird whose meat is prized among Arab sheikhs as an aphrodisiac.

A five member larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali announced the verdict on the review petitions filed by the federal and provincial governments against the ban, reports Dawn.

Examination of the laws clearly shows that permanent ban on hunting of houbara bustard is not envisaged.

The Red List of International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) places houbara bustard in the category of ‘vulnerable’.

IUCN considers hunting primarily using falconry as a principal threat to its conservation.

Despite the initial ban on the bird, licenses or permits were being issued to VIP dignitaries of Gulf states for hunting the species.(ANI)