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Pakistan lifts ban on hunting of rare bird

ISLAMABAD, Jan 23, (RTRS): Pakistan’s Supreme Court lifted a ban on hunting a rare bird on Friday, after the government argued it hurt relations with Gulf states whose wealthy hunters traditionally travel to Pakistan to pursue the endangered species with falcons.

The court ruling overturns a ban introduced last year on hunting the houbara bustard, pending new hearings of petitions by both the government and conservationists. Conservationists say the bird is at risk of extinction if hunting continues.

Wealthy Arabs used to be granted special licences to travel to Pakistan, with falcons worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, to hunt the bustard. Some believe the bird’s meat is an aphrodisiac.

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