Punjab Govt decides to establish wildlife rescue force for animal protection

SARGODHA: The government of Punjab has announced the formation of a Wildlife Rescue Force aimed at safeguarding wild animals.

Comprising trained personnel, veterinary ambulances, doctors, and rescue vehicles, this initiative seeks to protect the diverse wildlife of the region.

In the initial phase, Wildlife Rescue Forces will be established in Lahore, Khanewal, and Rawalpindi. Provincial Senior Minister Maryam Aurangzeb has also directed amendments to the Wildlife Act, particularly regarding the possession of tigers, leopards, and other wild cats.

Recent crackdowns on illegal possession of wild animals across Sargodha, Nankana Sahib, Bahawalpur, Muzaffargarh, Gujranwala, and DG Khan have resulted in the rescue of various rare species. These include 11 rare bears, 96 ratites, 20 monkeys, 85 sparrows, 6 chickadees, 35 pheasants, 45 partridges, and 25 peacocks.

Aurangzeb highlighted the rescue of Bengal tigers being transported from Lahore to Multan. Under the amended Wildlife Act of 1973, offenders caught illegally possessing animals face detention and heavy fines. Furthermore, educational initiatives such as lectures and seminars in schools and colleges across Punjab aim to raise awareness about wildlife conservation among the public and the younger generation.

Aurangzeb emphasized that rescued animals will be temporarily housed in various zoos before being released back into their natural habitats. The illegal confinement or mistreatment of animals is strictly prohibited, with the real habitat of wildlife being forests and other natural habitats. Illegal captivity of wild animals and birds is considered a legal offense.

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