Pakistan foils attempt to smuggle endangered falcons

 thehindu.com  10/18/2020 06:56:41 

Pakistani authorities said Saturday they had foiled an attempt to smuggle dozens of endangered falcons worth more than one million dollars out of the country.

Wildlife traffickers catch falcons in Pakistan's mountainous north, often to sell them for lucrative profits in the Gulf region, where hunting with the birds is a popular sport.

Customs officials seized 75 falcons and a houbara bustard at locations around the southern port city of Karachi in what they called an unprecedented anti-smuggling operation.

The birds are listed as rare and endangered species and their trade is strictly banned, said senior customs officer Mohammad Saqif Saeed.

He did not identify the species of the birds but estimated their value to be around 200 million rupees (over $1 million) on the black market.

Authorities have arrested two suspects and plan to release the birds into the wild.

The houbara bustard is a desert bird whose meat is prized among Arab sheikhs as an aphrodisiac. Falcons are often used by wealthy hunting parties from the Gulf who travel to Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province every winter to catch and kill the houbara.

An earlier ban on the sport was overturned by Pakistan's top court.

Two hundred rare falcons were reportedly exported to Qatar from Pakistan earlier this year on special permission.

Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism

Dear subscriber,

Thank you!

Your support for our journalism is invaluable. Its a support for truth and fairness in journalism. It has helped us keep apace with events and happenings.

The Hindu has always stood for journalism that is in the public interest. At this difficult time, it becomes even more important that we have access to information that has a bearing on our health and well-being, our lives, and livelihoods. As a subscriber, you are not only a beneficiary of our work but also its enabler.

We also reiterate here the promise that our team of reporters, copy editors, fact-checkers, designers, and photographers will deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Suresh Nambath

« Go back