LAHORE, July 28: The Director General of Wildlife and Parks has imposed a complete ban on import of all species of peafowl and pheasants from Sindh to Punjab as a preventive measure amid New Castle outbreak there, officials told Dawn.

Officials said a letter had been issued by the Directorate General of Wildlife and Parks to all deputy directors, Lahore Zoo director, assistant directors, Bahawalpur Zoo curator and all district wildlife officers on July 24, saying that the New Castle disease had broken out in the population of peafowl in Tharparkar, Sindh and killed many of them. New Castle is a viral disease and proves fatal most of the time.

Keeping in view gravity of the situation, officials have been directed to keep an eye on all hot points of import such as airports, railway stations, bus stands and other entry points to check import from Sindh to Punjab.

Officials in the wildlife department told Dawn that district officers all over Punjab were keeping an eye on more than 70 registered private wildlife parks. There are at least 15 private wildlife parks in Lahore alone.

Zoo Director Muhammad Shafqat said everything was under control at the moment. — Shoaib Ahmed

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