Pakistan gives 'licence to kill' houbara bustard, a protected bird species

ANI
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Houbara bustard
Houbara bustard

Karachi [Pakistan], December 16 (ANI): Known for its dismal record of animal conservation, and "trophy hunting", Pakistan has issued a "license to kill" the houbara bustard, an international protected bird species, whose hunting is banned in the country.

Pakistan issued special permits to the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and 14 other members of his family to hunt the houbara bustard, reported Dawn.

The houbara bustard comes under the "vulnerable list" of (International Union for Conservation of Nature) IUCN. It means that the species is threatened with global extinction.

The main reasons for the houbara's decline are poaching, unregulated hunting, along the degradation of its natural habitat.

Pakistan is also known for 'trophy hunting' where markhor and ibex are hunted after paying a huge amount of money. The irony is that markhor is the national animal of Pakistan and people pay to slay the pride of Pakistan.

Keeping in view its dwindling population, the houbara bustard, a migratory bird is not only protected under various international nature conservation treaties but its hunting is also banned under the local wildlife protection laws. Pakistanis themselves are not allowed to hunt this bird.

It is evident that Pakistan has used the hunting permit as a foreign policy card to influence dignitaries from oil-rich Gulf nations.

According to sources, the other hunters include the emir's father, brother, the Qatari prime minister, an adviser, the brother of a former prime minister, and some members of the royal family, reported Dawn. (ANI)