ISLAMABAD: The wildlife directorate of the Metropolitan Corporation (MCI) is yet to auction clothing and decorative items made of animal fur which it had confiscated in February last year.

The confiscated items included 24 leopard skin jackets, three decoration pieces made of fox fur, two made from leopard skin and one of snake skin.

“We have been waiting to get price estimates from the Pakistan Museum of Natural History, which has expertise to check the value of the confiscated items. Soon after getting their input, we will hold an auction,” Director Wildlife Rana Tahir told Dawn.

He said revenue that would be collected from the auction would be utilised for improving the wildlife sector of the capital. The official said sale and purchase of any item made of animals included in the “red list” was banned under the 1979 Wildlife Ordinance.

Last year, the articles were confiscated during a raid at a hotel by the wildlife department officials.

Talking about the delay in holding the auction, he said the MCI and the wildlife department had no expertise to calculate the value of the confiscated items.

Wildlife directorate of MCI has sought value estimation of items from Pakistan Museum of Natural History, says official

“That’s why we have sought an input from the Museum of Natural History,” the official said, adding soon after Eid the MCI would take up the issue with the museum authorities for finalising the estimates otherwise some other department would be approached.“We are planning to hold an auction and a fund raising event,” he said.

Another MCI official said leopard skin jackets were very popular, specially among foreigners.

“We are hopeful that in the auction or fund raising event we will collect huge funds,” said the official, who was part of the raiding team.

Other officials said leopards and other wild animals were killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and northern areas where they were found and then articles were made of their fur.

They said last year’s raid was first of its kind but the MCI had no expertise to deal with the confiscated items.

The officials said the MCI wanted to hold the auction after getting an input from the museum.

Another option, they added, was to impose a heavy fine on the owner of the articles if he showed willingness to get them back.

“But a final decision will be made after getting an input about the value of the confiscated articles,” the officials added.

Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2020