Wildlife Conservation Department Director Muhammad Naeem Bhatti on Tuesday confirmed that the federal government has issued orders to all the provincial governments stating that the foreigners should be charged a fee for hunting the houbara bustards.
Following this, a process to collect the fees has been initiated by the government.
According to a local TV channel, Naeem said, “Four foreigners hailing from Gulf countries have paid for the hunting in the ongoing season, while each hunter will be allowed to hunt for 10 days, for which he will be charged $100,000.”
It was stated that this move is aimed at making profits that will help in the breeding of the birds and for other developmental work in the hunting areas. In order to maintain complete transparency over the use of funds, a committee has been formed in this regard.
“As much as 50 per cent of the amount will be spent on the development of that area, while 35 per cent will be given to Houbara Foundation to promote the growth of the birds,” he said.
It is pertinent to mention that as per the Wildlife Act, the hunting of houbara bustards has been banned, however, an exception was made for the foreigners who were allowed to hunt the bird after being granted “a special permit”.
In October, a ban on free hunting of houbara by foreigners was imposed by the government. Moreover, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had removed the fee being charged from the foreign hunters.