KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the provincial forest and wildlife departments to stop the illegal hunting of endangered species of birds, including the houbara bustard, falcons and ducks, in district Sujawal.
Headed by SHC Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, the division bench passed this direction while hearing a petition against illegal hunting of the birds facing extinction within and outside the country.
The petition was filed by Abdul Shakoor Thaheem, who had taken the secretary and inspector of the Sindh forest and wildlife department and private dealers to court over alleged illegal hunting of the endangered birds without hunting licences.
The petitioner said he had moved applications to the authorities on September 15 this year, informing them about private men, including Ramzan, Akbar, Abu Zikria and Muhammad Khan Jat who are hunting wood-white ducks, houbara bustard and other birds without having an official permit or licence.
He claimed that the officials are involved in the illegal hunting of the birds, as they are charging Rs60,000 from a team of hunters for each tent.
Thaheem claimed that these men are selling one falcon or a hawk for anywhere between Rs2.5 million and Rs5 million to dealers based in Karachi. These dealers later sell them to other countries, which is a violation of the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Ordinance, 1972.
On August 19, the Supreme Court had declared hunting without permit as illegal and violation of the relevant laws, he pointed out, adding that the practice continues in Sindh without any checks by the forest and wildlife authorities. He accused inspector Ayub Hadiani of being involved in illegal hunting.
The petitioner also pointed out that these hunters were entering his agricultural fields and destroying them for the sake of illegal hunting. He pleaded the court declare hunting without official permits and licence as illegal and order the forest and wildlife authorities to take legal action against the private dealers. He also sought directions for the dealers to abstain from entering the petitioner's fields. The bench directed the forest and wildlife departments secretaries to ensure no illegal hunting is allowed. The hearing was adjourned.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2015.
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