LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah on Wednesday lifted temporary ban on hunting of houbara bustards in the country.

The Chief Justice remarked that ban was imposed for a year on the basis of the commission’s report, however, more facts have surfaced after detailed review of the report.

Detailed argument is required over the commission’s report before reaching any conclusion on the matter, he added.

Meanwhile, the high court summoned respondents’ lawyers on February 8 to present further arguments in the case.

The houbara bustard, an internationally protected migratory bird, is mostly found in arid habitats spread across northern Africa, Central Asia and South-East Asia, with a population on the Canary Islands. They are dull brown with black markings on the wings with a greyish neck and a black ruff, along the side of the neck. Males and females appear very similar to each other, but males are much larger and heavier.

Owing to the dwindling global population of houbara bustard, it is not only protected under the international conservation conventions, but its hunting is also banned under the national local wildlife protection laws. Locals are not allowed to hunt it.

However, the federal government issues special permits every year to the ruling elite families of the Gulf countries.