Animal Rights Groups React As Arab Royal Buys Permission To Hunt Protected Bird In Pakistan

An Arab prince has been given the right to hunt the endangered birds with falcons in Pakistan, attracting an aggressive response from wildlife groups who are accusing Imran Khan to backtrack from his promise of protecting nature.

According to the reports, Qatari royals have paid a handsome amount of $100,000 to hunt the endangered Houbara Bustard. Houbara bustard migrates to Pakistan every winter and is considered valuable in the Middle East as its meat is believed to be ‘aphrodisiac’. The protected bird will be hunted with falcons, keeping the spirit of an ancient, hugely popular sport across the Arabic world as the most prized hunting birds are sold for as much as $250,000.

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The migratory bird is found in Sindh and Balochistan. With the bird itself, the hunting is likely to have extremely negative implications on the climate. However, what actually has irked a reaction is that not only Pakistan is a signatory to various international nature conservation conventions that restricted the bird’s hunting, but country’s own laws prohibit it as well.

It must be noticed that this isn’t the first time it has happened. Arab royals have been enjoying these rights since years. However, the cry for help was louder than ever back in 2014 when a member of the House of Saud and then governor of Tabuk province in Saudi Arabia, Prince Fahd Bin Sultan, killed 2100 Houbara Bustards in an orgy of killing in Balochistan, that lasted as long as three weeks in winters. The brutal act was condemned on international platforms was labelled as ‘Bustard act’ by known foreign publications.

Though the incumbent government committed to protect wildlife and conserve nature, they have handed over the permission to royals as well.

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