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Zoos and Wildlife Breeding Centers of Pakistan

 

In Pakistan, wildlife is treated as a provincial rather than a federal matter. There are four provinces, each having its own wildlife department headed by a minister. Wildlife habitats are under the jurisdiction of the forest departments of each province. There are six separate laws that pertain to wildlife, most of which date to the mid-1970s, with only one amendment in 1990. This legislation has no direct relationship with CITES, and when import or export takes place, the CITES certificate is issued by an agency of the federal Ministry of Environment, the National Council for Conservation of Wildlife. There is no separate zoo legislation as such. However, in order to start a zoo in, for example, Punjab Province, permission from the provincial wildlife

department is required, as is a license fee of 2,000 rupees per animal. There are penalties for keeping wild animals illegally, ranging from confiscation of the animals to substantial fines and imprisonment of up to six months.

 

Zoos may capture animals from the wild in Pakistan, but they may do so only for research purposes and only with special permission from the head of the wildlife department. There are no standards for exhibition of animals or inspections although there is animal welfare legislation. Pakistan does not have a specific Zoo Act or Policy nor any legislation about captive wild animals, but there is good legislation about wildlife in all the four provinces, that is, in Azad Kashmir, in Northern Areas and in Federal Territory of Islamabad. The basic outline of legislation is about the same with a few differences according to local conditions, especially in

the Rules framed under the Act called Punjab wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Act 1974, and the Rules framed thereunder 1975 (Annexure-1).

 

Recently six major ungulate species viz., Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), Hog deer (Axis porcinus), Axis deer (Axis axis), Chinkara (Gazella bennettii), Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), and Punjab Urial (Ovis orientalis punjabiensis) were shifted from Schedule III (Protected animals and birds) to Schedule II allowing their captive breeding in the Private Sector. Relevant notification and rules are also attached as Annexure –2.

 

Lahore Zoo is a semi-autonomous organization, so far being run following a constitution framed in 1969. With the changing circumstances, the Constitution has been revised and may be adopted shortly. A new Zoo is envisioned at Faisalabad for which a Constitution has been formulated. A Zoo in Punjab, Bahawalpur Zoo is a Government Organization, and all the Government Policies/ Administrative norms apply to it. A network of 22 Captive Breeding Centres has been established in the Punjab province. These are again Government Organizations and run on the pattern of Bahawalpur Zoo.

 

‘CITES’ as such has not been mentioned in the Punjab Wildlife Act but as signatories to the Convention, Pakistan follows the dictates. All the animals or animal products to be exported or imported have to obtain a licence from the National Council for the Conservation of Wildlife, an organization in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Local Government and Rural Development. While issuing such licences CITES Schedules are duly consulted.

 

Establishment of a ‘Zoo’ in the private sector is allowed in Sindh province only. Legislation is being framed in other provinces. Some animal collections are being maintained by interested individuals, institutions, without obtaining permission from the Department and these are usually ignored in the absence of a specific legislation.

 

There is no bar on starting a Zoo for anyone who fulfils the criteria, once it is allowed by the Government. Any one who applies for a Permit will get it on the payment of prescribed fee.

 

Applications have to be filed for obtaining permission to keep the animals in captivity. Penalties prescribed in legislation for illegal hunting or capturing of animals are/can be imposed. This information was taken from correspondence with the Office of the Director General, Wildlife & Parks, Punjab, Lahore.

Pakistan has 14 zoos of which 10 are government and 4 are private, and about 22 wild animal breeding centers. The zoos are listed below with government zoos starred *.

For detail information on Zoos and Wildlife Breeding Centers in Pakistan, click on the list highlighted in Green:

  • Bahawalpur Zoo*
  • Jungle Kingdom, Rawalpindi
  • Hyderabad Zoo*
  • Lahore Zoo*
  • Karachi Zoo* (New)
  • Islamabad Zoo*
  • Landhi Korangi Zoo, Karachi
  • Karachi Safari Park*
  • Clifton Aquarium, Karachi*
  • Jallo Park, Lahore*
  • Murree Wildlife Park, Murree*
  • Loi bher Wildlife Park, Rawalpindi/Islamabad*

Wildlife Breeding Centers of Punjab

  • Attock Wildlife Park

  • Bahawalnagar Wildlife Park

  • Bhagat Wildlife Park

  • Changa Manga

  • D. G. Khan Wildlife Park

  • Faisalabad, PWRI, Breeding Centre

  • Islamabad, Saidpur Hatchery

  • Kamalia Wildlife Park

  • Khanewal, Pirawala Wildlife Park

  • Khanewal, Pirawala Breeding Centre

  • Khushab, Sodhi Enclosure

  • Lawrancepur, Breeding Centre

  • R. Y. Khan Wildlife Park

  • Sulemanki Wildlife Park

  • Vehari Wildlife Park

  • Woodland Wildlife Park

  • Rawat Breeding Centre, Rawalpindi

Others:

  • Zoos in Sindh -- perhaps 6 private zoos in Sindh
  • Government breeding centres -- 22
Total = possibly as many as 40 captive wild animal facilities in Pakistan in August 2000

 

Credits:

  • Zoo Outreach Organization  (http://www zooreach.org)

  • Punjab Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Department (http://www.punjab.gov.pk/forest/)

 

 

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