Toughening up on abuse
New penalties laid out for authorities
Changes to the law regarding animal welfare and ownership of exotic pets were presented at the UAE’s first National Conference for Animal Welfare yesterday.
The law was laid out as Sharjah Municipality officials revealed that a total of 10,000 animals that had been dumped, surrendered or confiscated have passed through their centres since 1997.
These included two crocodiles, one which was found in a flat in the emirate, small hamster-faced marsupials called sugar gliders, hedgehogs and birds of prey.
A new amendment to the 2007 Animal Welfare Law includes a ban on keeping animals in isolation, stating that animals must be kept in suitable living quarters and with the necessary facilities to meet their needs, such as food, water and space.
Certain species must also be cared for by ample qualified staff with the expertise to maintain the animal’s welfare.
Under the amendment, lack of proper care and neglect can result in jail time or fines of between Dhs200,000 and Dhs500,000 in some cases, said Dr Ahmed Zahran, Veterinarian at the Ministry Of Environment and By Shoshana Kedem Water, who spelt out the new UAE legislation related to animal welfare for local municipalities and animal rights stakeholders at the conference. “The main thing is the new penalties, which used to reach Dhs20,000 but now reach Dhs200,000 and now with a few violations it reaches Dhs500,000,” Zahran said. He added that most of exotic animal owners in the UAE are currently unlicensed. “You need the required licence,” he said.
SNAP: A crocodile was found in a Sharjah flat