LAHORE - Minister for Schools Education and Archeology Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan has stressed the need of learning modern zoo practices to keep animals healthy and safe in Pakistan.

Addressing the concluding ceremony of a two-week International Technical Training and Skill Development in Animal Keeping program at a local hotel on Friday, the minister said that local zoo keepers and wildlife officers would benefit from the experience and knowledge of British trainers.

Punjab University Vice Chancellor Dr Zafar Mueen Nasir, Dean Faculty of Life Sciences Dr Naeem Khan, Director British Council Lahore Kevin McLaven, Chairman Department of Zoology Dr Javed Iqbal Qazi, Dr Zulfiqar Ali, trainers from various universities from the United Kingdom, wildlife officers, zoo keepers, researchers and a large number of students were also present on the occasion. Mashhood said the British Council and private sector are collaborating in different projects which are valuable for the government. Dr Zafar Mueen Nasir said the PU would play its role in preservation of wildlife. “The Punjab University will not only work for improvement of life standard of the people but for bright future of the country,” he added. Kevin McLaven said the British Council is working for improvement in standard of education and provision of academic leadership in Pakistan.

The British Council would enhance its relations with PU further in future, he added.

Dr Naeem Khan said the training programme is highly beneficial for local master trainers who would train local field officers.

Dr Zulfiqar Ali said the training program is aimed at understanding the knowledge of basic biology and animal behaviour by zookeepers and care for the animals and keepers properly.

He also stressed the need for proper direction and thrust to management zoos to complement and strengthen the national efforts in conservation of rich biodiversity of the country, particularly the wild fauna.

The speakers also lauded efforts of Dr Zulfiqar Ali on successfully organising the workshop. Later, certificates were distributed among the participants.