Too Wild Too Cruel

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Almost everywhere, including Pakistan, animal hunting is ranked as a game and shooting is licensed for a meager capital, which is easily payable when it comes to wealthy Arabs, who fly miles and hire camps in Pakistan for hunting the innocent animals, most of them precious.

By Prof Dr. Abdullah G Arijo

Cruelty is the other term for hunting, and it can never be called a game/sport. To you, it may be just a game, but the animals, it is the end of their existence. Almost everywhere, including Pakistan, animal hunting is ranked as a game and shooting is licensed for a meagre capital, which is easily payable when it comes to wealthy Arabs, who fly miles and hire camps in Pakistan for hunting the innocent animals, most of them precious.

Have a look at a poster published by Punjab wildlife department. The people at the helm of affairs at Punjab’s wildlife department must check their nerves and re-think on their poster on wildlife hunting of precious species at whatever cost. I wonder how hunters are excited by the opportunity to kill defenseless wildlife. And, I also can’t believe that state authorities permit the cruelty of hunting of all wildlife, while there are so much animal right activities and activists.

It seems a nonsense act when authorities provide trophy hunts for those who get a thrill from killing and want to hang a trophy on their wall. Many kind and sensible people in various parts of the world do complain, but they are ignored by the state and its legislators. What a heartbreaking and undemocratic situation.

Honestly, all hunters should be jailed for animal cruelty. But provinces want hunters because the more hunters they have; the more money they get. When it comes to Arab hunters, off the record permits are granted and regulations are made just a bookish thing.

With diversified landscapes, Pakistan is blessed with a variety of wildlife all over the country. The country is blessed with one of the finest and rarest species of animals like Markhor, Urial and Ibex. Moreover, many other seasonal birds finding shelter from Siberian winds also find their home in the heart of the country.

Like Sindh, the Punjab province also offers climatic shelter to migrating bird travelling from Siberia and Russia during winters. Hundreds of species of birds travel towards the warmer regions of south Punjab to get shelter from the intense climate of the North Pole. Although many endangered species like Houbara Bustard have been marked illegal to hunt in Pakistan recently, some species are still legal to hunt in the country.

Domestic birds widely populate Sindh. These birds are used to warm weather conditions and are bred in large numbers. District of Thatta and a coastal line of Karachi are very popular spots for hunting these birds. Partridge, locally referred to as Titer are hunted throughout the Sindh in large numbers. Many species namely Sandgrouse or Black Partridge of the family are also hunted across the province of Sindh. These birds are legal to hunt in only one season throughout the year. It is considered illegal to captivate or hunt partridges once the hunting season is over. The season starts in mid-November which lasts till the end of January of next year, but the game is never over.

Government of Pakistan promotes ‘supervised hunting’ across the country. The licenses for hunting purposes have a hefty fee and quite expensive. But even with these fees, hunting of these animals in Pakistan is still an experience in its own. The ministry of Tourism and Wildlife overlook the wild game hunting in Pakistan, and provides legal authority to hunters for their games.

Much of the hunting in Pakistan is legal on different animals. The legality involves regulations specific to the animals. Alongside every other experience in Pakistan, wildlife hunting in Pakistan is considered an energetic experience, so, let us boost our adrenaline with these hunting expeditions and explore the country more and more.

Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting animal species and their habitats. It is achieved partially through legislation such as the Endangered Species Act, the establishment and protection of public lands, and responsible public practices that conserve wild animal populations.

Hunters cause injuries, pain and suffering to animals who are not adapted to defend themselves from bullets, traps and other cruel killing devices. Hunting destroys animal families and habitats and leaves terrified and dependent baby animals behind to starve to death.

Hunting is always a murderous business. It may have played an important role, next to plant gathering and scavenging, for human survival in prehistoric times, but the vast majority of modern hunters in developed countries stalks and kill animals for recreation. Hunting is a violent and cowardly form of outdoor entertainment that kills hundreds of millions of animals every year, many of whom are wounded and die a slow and painful death.

Hunters cause injuries, pain and suffering to animals who are not adapted to defend themselves from bullets, traps and other cruel killing devices. Hunting destroys animal families and habitats and leaves terrified and dependent baby animals behind to starve to death.

Because state wildlife agencies use hunting, trapping and fishing licenses as a source of income, today’s so-called ‘wildlife management’ in fact actively promotes the killing of wild animals, and is joined by a powerful hunting lobby, and even sells wildlife trophy hunts to those who enjoy killing them. For instance, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife received $45,000 from the sale of a killing tag for California Desert Bighorn Sheep, sold at the 41st Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada. Getting the trophy carcass is an unwritten guarantee.

Hunting is not Sport. Hunting is often called a “sport,” to disguise a cruel, needless killing spree as a socially acceptable activity. The concept of sport involves competition between two consenting parties, adherence to rules and fairness ensured by an intervening referee, and achieving highest scores but not death as the goal of the sporting events. In hunting, the animal is forced to “participate” in a live-or-die situation that always leads to the death of the animal, whereas the hunter leaves, their life never remotely at stake.

Game hunting allows the killing of exotic species now that trump changed the Endangered Species Act so his selfish baby boys can go kill any animal at any time and post pictures of themselves on the Internet posing with dead, beautiful creatures. To them, it is just a game. To the animals, it is the end of their existence.

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The writer is Chairman, Department of Veterinary Parasitology, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam. He contributes his blogs regularly to Sindh Courier. 

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