Tough­en­ing up on abuse

New penal­ties laid out for au­thor­i­ties

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @B_shosh

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

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