The Punjab government has approved changes in wildlife rules of the province, barring private possession of bear and monkey.
The wildlife department of the Punjab government had recommended the ban and a deputy director of the department announced that a notification in this regard would be issued soon after the cabinet’s approval.
According to details, the rules barring possession of bear and monkey were scrapped from the wildlife act’s schedule years back. They were included under schedule III of the protected wildlife animals, the deputy director said.
He said that previously licences were issued to keep bear or monkey privately, however, after approval of new rules, all such permissions would be cancelled now.
It is pertinent to mention here that besides Punjab, other provinces have also devised rules and taken action against the illegal captivity of monkeys.
In December 2020, during a crackdown against violation of wildlife rules, the assistant commissioner of Saddar Town alongside the wildlife department team raided Empress Market and seized at least four baby monkeys illegally being held in the cages.
The recovered infants were initially taken to wildlife department sanctuary and then handed over to a private organization working for wildlife protection, AC Saddar Sherina Asad said.
“We have entrusted the infants with Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation (ACF) for their first aid and natural habitat acclimatisation,” Sherina Asad said.
According to Sindh Wildlife Act, it’s not allowed to keep monkeys in a cage and only licence-holders can keep them in a private zoo, AC Asad underscored.