ISLAMABAD: The Punjab Wildlife Department imposed a Rs70,000 fine on two groups of hunters in the past eight days for illegally hunting partridges.

The department fined a group of hunters Rs35,000 two days ago and Rs35,000 on another hunting party last weekend.

“These two hunting parties were hunting without a licence. Only licence holders can hunt and that too on a Sunday only,” Punjab Wildlife Department District Officer Rizwana Aziz told Dawn on Sunday.

Partridge hunting season starts from Nov 15 till Feb 15, and hunting is permitted only once a week. In every district, hunting is permitted in some tehsils , Ms Aziz, who is in charge of Rawalpindi and Gujar Khan, added.

Hunting season runs throughout the year. Hunters shoot quail and doves in August and September, six birds with one gun. Partridges are indigenous, the tehsils that remain open for hunting in one season are closed in the next to ensure that birds are not over-hunted, she added.

The official said that she has a tough time keeping a check on illegal hunting of not just birds but also animals including the barking deer which lives in a national park that stretches from Murree, Kotli Satyan and Kahuta.

“Our staff has controlled illegal hunting in the national park significantly,” said the official.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2020