Importing zoo animals: Punjab Wildlife Department unable to secure permit

Published: April 11, 2018
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LAHORE: The Punjab Wildlife Department has not yet been able to secure a permit from CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) which could cause a delay in importing animals for Lahore Zoo, stated director Hassan Sukhera on Tuesday.

Previously, the department had decided to allocate Rs13 million for importing several animals, including an elephant, a giraffe, sea horses, a Bengal tiger and a rhinoceros, to restore the zoo to its former glory. Two separate firms were tasked with this responsibility; however, neither of them has been able to obtain the permit, he said.

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Despite the hurdles, the Lahore Zoo administration remains hopeful and aims to have all the animals imported by June of this year, he maintained.

Apart from a CITES permit, which allows for the import and export of exotic and endangered animals, it is also necessary to have import and export permits.

Internationally, there exists a ban on importing sea creatures, animals and birds which are on the brink of extinction or are vulnerable. If a country wishes to import such creatures, they need to assure concerned authorities that the species will be bred to produce further generations, he said.

After a thorough inspection and inquiry into the matter, the country from where the animals are being imported from, grants a CITES permit. Following this, you need to obtain another separate certificate from your own country, he revealed.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2018.

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