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Playing by the rules in animal welfare

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 26, 2017
Playing by the rules in animal welfare
Under the law, animals are entitled to rights including having enough space enabling them to move freely

The UAE Federal Law No. 16, concerning animal protection, enacted in 2007, states that animals should not be left alone or abandoned

Over the last several years, the UAE has introduced strict legislation governing the treatment of animals. In 2016, President Sheikh Khalifa issued Federal Law No?18 for 2016 to tackle cases of animal cruelty.

According to the law, people found guilty of abusing or illegal hunting, buying or selling animals face a one-year prison term and a Dh200,000 fine. The use of an animal for scientific experiments without an official permit is subject to fines between Dh50,000 and Dh200,000 and a one-year prison sentence, per the law.

According to article 432 of the Federal Punishment Law, anyone found torturing or abusing an animal can be fined Dh10,000.

The UAE Federal Law No. 16, concerning animal protection, enacted in 2007, states that animals should not be left alone or abandoned. They should be taken care of or supervised by people with knowledge, skills and qualifications. Both the animal and its living conditions must be checked at least once in a day.

Under the law, animals are entitled to some rights including having enough space enabling them to move freely, according to their needs, to be fed and watered adequately for their age and species, and be transported and housed safely.

In the recent incidents of animal cruelty in UAE, a shocking video of a man feeding a live cat to his dogs went viral on social media in March 2017.

In June 2017, a dog was found in Abu Dhabi with its tail cut off. Animal Action UAE, an Abu Dhabi-based animal welfare group, said on its Facebook page that it found the abused animal, Lucy, looking as if it had its tail sawn off. The dog was likely to have been attacked by more than one person.

In another December 2016 incident, a dog that had been tortured and shot dead was discovered in Umm Al Quwain. The 'Stray Dogs Centre UAQ' Facebook page posted five images of the dog, showing serious wounds on various parts of his body. "On a routine visit to our centre this morning, we found a doggy dumped metres away from our centre who died the most horrible death," read the message on the Facebook page. "His body still warm, his legs tied with barb wire, he had a single gunshot wound to the head. Injuries around his front paws appear to have been caused because of being tied-up, and blood seeping from his swollen eyes.

In November 2016, a five-month-old kitten was found in Dubai with its ears and tail cut off. The cat was found in a pool of blood by a woman after she heard the animal crying in pain. In Ajman earlier in the year, an Emirati teenager was filmed throwing a cat against a wall. The teen was arrested after the video was posted online, but later released without charge, after his parents pledged he would not repeat his actions.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

Ismail Sebugwaawo


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