Supreme Court Lifts Ban On Hunting Of Houbara Bustard (Tiloor )
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday lifted a ban in Pakistan on the hunting of the houbara bustard (tiloor), a rare migrating game bird prized by Arab sheikhs.
The Supreme Court had imposed the ban on August 19 last year. The houbara bustard is an endangered species and its hunt is banned in most countries.
The apex court announced the verdict, previously reserved on January 08, on review petitions filed by the Federation and provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan against its judgment banning the hunting of the migrating bird.
A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, after hearing the arguments of the attorney general, law officers of the three provinces and Farooq H Naek, representing the Sindh government, had reserved the judgment on Jan 08.
In the review petitions, filed by the Federation and three provinces, the law officers of the respective provinces, while arguing before the larger bench, contended that law of their respective provinces allows conditional hunting of the houbara bustard and for this purpose a code of conduct has already been given.
The restrictions on hunting the bird were having a negative impact on Pakistan's relations with the Gulf states, the review petition had said. The government argues that controlled hunting should be allowed so it can be used as “a tool for preservation” of the rare species.
Wealthy hunting parties from the Gulf travel to Pakistan every winter to kill the houbara bustard using hunting falcons, a practice that has sparked controversy in recent years because of the bird's dwindling numbers.
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