The Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad’s (MCI) wildlife directorate has confiscated two dozen jackets and other items made with animal fur. The directorate raided a store in a luxury hotel in Feb 2019 and confiscated 24 leopard fur jackets, as well as three decorative pieces made of fox fur, two made of leopard fur and one made of snakeskin.

Officials from the directorate said that the sale and purchase of any items made of animals on the red list is banned in the capital under the 1979 Wildlife Ordinance.

They said they were tipped off that the said items were being sold by Antique Gallery, and raided the shop and confiscated them.

The items have been shifted to the Islamabad zoo, where MCI officials may auction them after completing the legal formalities.

Zoo and Wildlife Director Rana Tahir confirmed that these items have been confiscated, saying the law does not permit them to be sold in Islamabad and legal action will be initiated against those involved in this business.

Sources in the division said that since this is the first confiscation case the MCI has handled, it will be brought to the notice of Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz for the proper disposal of the confiscated items.

The officials said it appeared the animals were killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the northern areas, where leopards are found.

When contacted, Chief Metropolitan Officer Syed Najaf Iqbal said several steps were recently taken to improve the working of the wildlife directorate, and efforts are ongoing to bring visible change to this previously neglected division.

“It is our duty protect wildlife, so confiscation is meant to discourage the killing of animals,” he said. He said the confiscated items will be disposed of in accordance with the law.

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