Smugglers have stolen nearly 5000 birds out of Afghanistan in the past 12 months, taking them to various countries particularly the Gulf nations, Afghanistan Environment Protection Agency (AEPA) said.
AEPA head Mustafa Zahir said that geese and falcons are the most popular birds for smugglers, mostly taken from the northern provinces.
“Unfortunately bird smuggling is continuing in the country, especially in Balkh and Bamyan. Mostly they are smuggling geese and falcon. But more than 80 percent of them are dying in the highways [on the journey],” Zahir said in the Balkh capital Mazar-e-Sharif.
He called on government officials to take action over the smuggling of the birds and other wildlife beyond Afghanistan’s borders.
His comments comes as non-government organisations from the United Arabic Emirates (UAE) invested $1 million for the protection of birds in Mazar-e-Sharif.
“We are investing to protect those birds and animals that are facing conditions of extinction. Our goal is to protect them to ensure they are not smuggled,” said Sayed Abdul Samad Munib, the head of the UAE non-government institutions for the protection of wildlife and birds.