Houbara bustard hunting ban at Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday referred the case of a ban of the hunting of the endangered Houbara bustard to the chief justice of Pakistan, while requesting the CJ to constitute a larger bench to decide the fate of federal and provincial governments’ review petitions against the apex court’s earlier judgement in the matter.A three-judge bench of the top court headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar referred the matter to the CJP before adjourning the hearing of the case until the third week of December.Earlier, Attorney General of Pakistan Salman Aslam Butt appeared before the bench and requested the court to allow limited hunting of the bird.Last month, the SC had directed the federal government to provide evidence to substantiate its stance that the population of the Houbara Bustard has increased in the country.Wealthy Arab dignitaries travel to Balochistan every winter to hunt the Houbara bustard using falcons, a practice that has sparked controversy in recent years because of the rare bird’s dwindling numbers.

Issuing a decree in the controversial case earlier this year, the Supreme Court banned hunting of the Houbara bustard in a decision welcomed by wildlife conservationists.In its petition, the federal administration contended that the ban on hunting Houbara bustards could mar Pakistan’s ties with the Middle East.


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