In a welcoming development, the Punjab Wildlife Department has launched a province wide crackdown against vendors selling wild birds and animals illegally without getting licenses from the concerned authorities.
This much-needed development aims to stop illegal trade of wildlife and conserve the biodiversity of the largest province of the country.
Notable markets like Tollinton Market in the provincial capital received warning notices following the dismissal of a previous court injunction, enabling stricter enforcement.
According to media reports, shopkeepers and dealers contested the regulations, arguing that exotic birds are not covered by wildlife laws in the province.
Deputy Director Tanvir Ahmad Janjua clarified that while these birds are not local, they fall within forest ecosystems and are not explicitly protected by the Wildlife Act.
Dealers at major bird markets across the province are now required to obtain licenses costing Rs. 50,000 for wild animals/birds and Rs. 30,000 for birds, excluding taxes.
Janjua stressed that trading protected wildlife or those captured from forests is prohibited, but animals bred in authorized farms can be traded with proper proof of purchase.
Non-compliant shops face closure, and the government will take custody of their animals. Similar crackdowns will extend across Punjab, imposing severe penalties on those dealing in wild or exotic creatures without proper licensing.