LAHORE: The Punjab Wildlife Department told the Lahore High Court on Thursday that Qatari dignitaries were issued permits for hunting houbara bustard owing to increased growth of the bird.
During hearing of a petition challenging issuance of hunting permits to the Qatari royal family’s members, Wildlife Director General Khalid Ayaz Khan told the chief justice that the foreign dignitaries were allowed hunting of 100 houbara bustards in 10 days.
Petitioner’s counsel Sardar Kalim Ilyas pointed out that houbara bustard was an internationally protected bird and allowing its hunting amounted to killing the whole race of the bird. He said the hunting of the bird was in violation of international agreements/conventions.
He argued that the government issued the hunting permits without approval of the cabinet.
Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah directed a government law officer to manage reports from the climate change ministry and foundations of the UK and UAE established for conservation of houbara bustard.
The chief justice adjourned further hearing till first week of January and also directed the law officer to submit summary approved by the cabinet for the permits.