THE notion of ‘trophy hunting’ in Pakistan is a practice that goes back decades in the name of helping conserve endangered species, such as markhor, snow leopard, ibex etc. It is argued that it brings socioeconomic benefits to the local communities.
However, from an ethical stance, hunting of wildlife, that too rare species, is downright unacceptable. The proponents of trophy hunting should know that the revenue thus generated rarely reaches the local community even in the shape of development projects.
It is the job of the government to protect wildlife and support the locals without shedding blood.
Though the population of the wild animals has increased in the recent past, there is still a lack of reliable ecological survey and demographic study to warrant trophy hunting.
It is nonetheless a poor excuse for conservation in the guise of an elitist entertainment. Although it may bring funding, why shoot something you actually want to protect?
Surely, there can be less destructive ways to preserve a specie. We need to look for solutions that do not require killing a few animals to save the rest.
There is no doubt that conservation activities should involve the local community in a sustainable way, but trophy hunting certainly does not match this goal.
Unfortunately, wildlife conservation management focusses on economic dividends instead of animal rights.
Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2021