KARACHI, Aug 29: The federal government has banned the import of tigers, lions and other big cat species.

According to highly placed sources, earlier, the federal government, following regular incidents of smuggling of big cats by certain wildlife traffickers, which were exposed by the media while the official regulators either remained unaware or were hand in glove with the traffickers, had refused to entertain any requests for permission from these traffickers for the import of big cats till their cases were disposed of.

The sources said that later, the federal government reviewed its earlier decision and imposed a blanket ban on issuance of import permits of big cats till proper rules were formulated and guidelines were laid down for the import of big cats.

They said the government had also imposed a ban on the export of the common parrot and rose-ringed parakeet, which are being exported from the country for a long time, as the government had reports that some unscrupulous exporters were in fact exporting the rare Alexandrian species parakeet under the garb of common parrots.

They said the government was also considering reviewing the registration fees that are imposed on wildlife exporters and to introduce similar registration fees on wildlife importers also.

The sources said that the media, a few months back, had exposed four – one after the other – wildlife trafficking cases in which the big cats had been smuggled in from some African and European countries by air and the animals had entered the country through the Quaid-i-Azam International Airport in the city.

After the media reports, which were followed by directives from the federal government’s National Council for Conservation of Wildlife (NCCW), the Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) started investigations into the cases and in two of the cases – pertaining to the same Defence Housing Authority-based wildlife trafficker – fines were recovered and the remaining two cases – pertaining to two different companies which were in fact operated by the same wildlife trafficker from a Federal B Area office – were sent to court, which are pending. However, none of the illegally imported carnivorous animals were confiscated.

Responding to Dawn queries at that time (Aug 10), the Sindh Wildlife conservator Ghulam Rasool Channa said that all four cases had been disposed of and the report regarding the disposal of the cases had been sent to the Islamabad-based NCCW, which had been asking the SWD to expedite the disposal of the cases and send a report to it.

Responding to Dawn’s queries – after the publication of the news report on Aug 12 relating to the disposal of the cases – an NCCW official said that though the council had asked the SWD to inform it regarding the disposal of the cases, the wildlife department had not yet informed the NCCW and it only came to know about the disposal of the cases through the media.

The NCCW has again approached the SWD to send the report regarding the disposal of these cases, as “according to the NCCW, these cases were still pending as the SWD has not sent the report regarding the disposal.”

Opinion

Politics of the budget
Updated 12 Jun 2021

Politics of the budget

Govt wants to provide its disillusioned, disappointed voters the gratification they have been denied since the PTI came to power.
Federal features
12 Jun 2021

Federal features

At the core of the concept of federalism is sharing of power...
Missing gender
12 Jun 2021

Missing gender

Censorship in science raises many questions....
Learning and follow-up
Updated 11 Jun 2021

Learning and follow-up

Creating learning and feedback loops is important to reduce accidents, but this aspect remains missing in most organisations.

Editorial

12 Jun 2021

Feel-good budget

WE have been here before. Every time a government gets some fiscal space it immediately shifts gears to growth,...
Rep Omar’s tweet
Updated 12 Jun 2021

Rep Omar’s tweet

Over the last several decades, America has been instrumental in destabilising a number of Muslim states.
12 Jun 2021

Poor health indicators

IF the coronavirus has taught the world anything, it is that the old maxim ‘health is wealth’ is true. Though...
Changing course
11 Jun 2021

Changing course

Tarin says govt, IMF want sustainable economic growth, but both disagree on the path Islamabad must take to attain the objective.
11 Jun 2021

Political bartering

IN what appears to be a continuation of the unsavoury wheeling and dealing that is characteristic of Senate...
11 Jun 2021

Baghlan massacre

FEARS that Afghanistan will plunge into a torrid whirlpool of violence once all Western troops leave in September...