But FNC mem­ber backs walk­ing ar­eas Do­gonleash law ‘needed’

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Is­mail Se­bug­waawo @is­mailsebu is­mail@7days.ae

A law that bans walk­ing dogs in pub­lic places with­out leashes is nec­es­sary to en­sure pub­lic safety, a mem­ber of the Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil (FNC) has said.

A na­tion­wide ban is be­ing con­sid­ered as part of wider changes to the own­er­ship of an­i­mals.

The FNC last week de­bated a pro­posed law that in­cludes a to­tal ban on keep­ing lions, tigers and pri­mates as do­mes­tic pets.

Clauses in the law also out­line stricter con­trols on do­mes­tic pets.

Those who fail to con­trol their dogs in pub­lic places could face be­tween a month and six months in prison and large fines.

Ha­mad Al Ra­houmi, who rep­re­sents Dubai, yesterday said a ban is re­quired.

“It’s im­por­tant for dogs to be on leashes when­ever in pub­lic places to en­sure the safety of the peo­ple,” he said.

“The leash al­lows the owner to con­trol the an­i­mal just in case it be­comes un­ruly.” Bur he said he also recog­nised that own­ers need some­where to walk their pets. “I don’t think the law should pro­hibit dog own­ers to let them off the lead, if they are in places like the desert,” he said. “Dogs need to be al­lowed to play freely with­out a leash es­pe­cially in ar­eas where they don’t pose dan­ger to peo­ple.” At present, own­ers in Dubai, for ex­am­ple, must walk their an­i­mals on a lead or face mu­nic­i­pal fines but the new penal­ties would be much tougher. The pro­posal has sparked a de­bate among dog own­ers. Clare L’Es­trange wrote on the 7DAYSUAE Face­book page: “Such a dis­ap­point­ing move. Dogs need to be able to roam free (within rea­son).” FNC mem­bers are due to dis­cuss the pro­posed law again next week.

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