Wild animal on the loose in Dubai: Up to Dh500,000 fine for owning exotic pets


Dubai - A video of what looks like a jaguar or leopard has gone viral, with Dubai Police confirming that trained professionals are looking for the wild animal.

By Sahim Salim

Published: Thu 20 May 2021, 3:29 AM

With a wild animal on the loose in a residential community in Dubai, the police have warned that bringing out any such animals into a public environment is strictly prohibited under the Emirate’s laws.

Listen to more about this story on today's 8@8 with David Light podcast

Violators face a jail term of up to six months in addition to “severe financial penalties”, the Dubai Police said. A federal law specifies fines of up to Dh500,000 for the offence.

This came after a video of what looks like a jaguar or a leopard in a garden of a villa in Springs 3 went viral, causing panic in the community.

The Dubai Police confirmed the development, assuring residents that trained professionals are conducting an extensive search to locate and capture the animal.

A federal law, which regulates the ownership of dangerous animals passed in 2017, specifies fines of up to Dh500,000 for violators.

The law bans dealing in and ownership of all types of wild and “domesticated, but dangerous” animals.

It states that most wild animals cannot be reared as pets since they are “vulnerable to unpredictable behavioural changes that could go out of control”.

Only zoos, wildlife parks, circuses, breeding and research centres are allowed to keep wild or exotic animals.

Anyone who takes a leopard, cheetah or any other kind of exotic animal out in the public faces a jail term of up to six months and a fine ranging between Dh10,000 and Dh500,000.

Additionally, possession of dangerous animals for trading will be penalised with a jail term, or a fine ranging between Dh50,000 and Dh500,000 or both.


>> 'Exotic dangerous animals' as pets banned in UAE

If someone uses an animal to attack a person, he/she faces a jail term of between three and seven years if the attack causes a physical disability. If the person is killed, the penalty will be life imprisonment.

If other minor injuries are inflicted, the accused faces a prison term of up to a year and a fine of Dh400,000.

Those who use animals to terrorise people face a jail term and/or a range of fines from Dh100,000 to Dh700,000.

More news from UAE