Govt given time to respond to petition against possession of lions

LHC on Punjab Wildlife Law

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday gave time to the Punjab government to submit comments on a petition challenging the law that allows possession of wild animals, including a lion.

Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC took up the petition filed by Sanita Gulzar who challenged Section 12 of the Punjab Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation And Management) Act, 1974.

A citizen who has a pet lion moved an application seeking to become a party to the case.

Advocate Salman Khan Niazi, who represented the petitioner, stated before the court that the law which allows wild animals to be kept in homes as pets is ultra vires of the country’s Constitution.

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“The wildlife Act allows possession of wild animals, which is a violation of fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution,” the counsel argued, adding animals are meted out ill treatment in captivity.

Providing wild animals their natural habitat is a fundamental right under the Constitution, he said, adding keeping them in homes is dangerous both for humans and animals.

The court was pleaded to declare the law that permits possession of wild animals void.