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Govt Allows Bahrain King To Hunt Vulnerable Houbara Bustards

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The federal government has granted special permits to the royal family of Bahrain to hunt the houbara bustard during this hunting season.

According to a report in Dawn, the permits for hunting have been granted to King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al Khalifa and five other members of his family.

The hunters would include along with the king, his uncle, Bahrain’s interior minister, defence adviser and cousins.

The Houbara bustard is classified as a ‘vulnerable’ species in the Red List of Threatened Species, a 7 point ranking with 1 being a point of least concern and 7 being the point where the species goes extinct. A species is considered threatened if it lies between 3 and 5, with vulnerability at 3.

Interestingly, Prime Minister Imran Khan in the past has opposed the granting of permits to royals for hunting. A Twitter user shared old tweets of the prime minister in which he criticised the government for giving hunting rights for dollars.

Another user, while criticising the move, stated that the state was ‘spineless’.

The home of the houbara bustard is the central Asian region, but the bird migrates south in the winter.

Due to its declining population, there are various laws pertaining to its hunting in Pakistan; citizens of the country are not allowed to hunt the bird.

The foreign ministry, however, has a code of conduct which allows a hunter to hunt 100 birds in 10 days. This hunting season is between Nov 1, 2019 to Jan 31, 2020.

Moreover, various hunters are allocated different districts to hunt. The royal party from Bahrain has been given five different districts in Balochistan and Sindh to hunt it.

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