Maintenance and Monitoring of Zoos in the Punjab

The Punjab Captive Wildlife Management Committee (CWMC) has been established in Feb 2024 to oversee the maintenance and monitoring of zoos and wildlife parks across Punjab. This committee replaces the previous separate zoo management committees, which streamlined the operations and management of each zoo and wildlife park.

Under the Punjab Wildlife Protection, Preservation, Conservation, and Management Act 1974, the committee is led by DG Wildlife Punjab, with other members including representatives from the Finance and Planning and Development Departments, as well as veterinary and wildlife experts. Notable members of the committee include Sheikh Aizaz, Badar Munir, Asad Khalid, Zufishan, Professor Dr Zulfiqar Ali, Uzmi Khan, Dr Asim Khalid and a representative from the Hobara Foundation.

Punjab Wildlife Deputy Director Khawaja Junaid highlighted that the formation of this single committee will standardize the operations and management of all zoos and wildlife parks in the province. The committee will oversee various aspects including animal and bird procurement, feed purchases, contract auctions, licensing for breeding farms and the issuance of import and export permits for animals and birds.

Committee member Badar Munir, a conservationist, emphasized that this initiative will harmonize the operations of zoos and wildlife parks, facilitating the exchange of animals and birds between facilities to enhance breeding programs and genetic diversity.

The inaugural meeting of the CWMC on Wednesday discussed several key issues, including revised entry ticket prices for Lahore Zoo and Safari Park, enhancing Bahawalpur Zoo’s development, auctioning contracts for food courts and improving facilities for big cats such as lions and tigers. Additionally, the meeting addressed procedures and fees for issuing import and export permits and dealer licenses for animals and birds. Proposals to increase dealer and breeding farm license fees were also deliberated upon.

The committee outlined specific requirements for breeding farms and wildlife safaris, including minimum area and registration fees.

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