Jockeys u-16 yrs will be banned from camel races with effect from March 31

Filed on March 14, 2005

ABU DHABI - Jockeys under 16 years of age will be banned from competing in camel races held in the country with effect from March 31, 2005, said Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

“A law will be issued onMarch 31, 2005, prohibiting participation of jockeys whose age is less than 16 years old from participation in the camel races,’ Sheikh Hamdan told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

He added that the law would stipulate that the jockeys weight should not be less than 45 kilogrammes while his age, according to passport, should not be less than 16 years.

Sheikh Hamdan noted that a medical committee will conduct tests on all jockeys as part of the pre-race handicapping. He called on the camel breeders who employ children less than 16 as jockeys to return them to their countries. “Violators of this shall face legal action. The ministry of Interior will enforce the law in cooperation with the municipalities. The country’s ports of entry were instructed to ensure that no children whose ages are less than 16 will not enter for the purpose of being used as camel jockeys.’

“This will decisively bring an end to some illegal practices, which used to take place in the past. the cabinet is keen to keep the camel racing sport clean and in conformity with efforts to preserve traditions and heritage and to strengthen social bonds among citizens,’ Sheikh Hamdan said.

He also said that violations, which happened in the past, had severely harmed the noble objectives of such traditional events. He urged the owners of racing camels to fully comply with this law, adding that president H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai have issued directives stressing the strict enforcement of this law.

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