Stray animals are time bombs on RAK roads

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Stray animals are time bombs on RAK roads
Stray animals may soon have fluorescent retroreflective strips stuck on them

Ras Al Khaimah - 66 stray animals have been caught in the traps in Ras Al Khaimah so far this year

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Published: Thu 28 Jul 2016, 4:21 PM

Animals left to walk around the streets by owners will soon have fluorescent retroreflective strips stuck on them, according to the Ras Al Khaimah Municipality. The fluorescent strips will make it easier for motorists to spot them from a distance.
Stray animals have been blamed for traffic accidents in which many people have been killed and injured, and cars have been totally damaged.

The traps are mostly installed at open and empty areas close to public roads. The traps are circular enclosures with only one door which closes automatically once an animal enters. Certain herbs are planted in the enclosure to lure animals.
Special vehicles are then brought to the site to shift the seized animal to the barn of the public works department.
Munzir bin Shukr Al Zaabi, Director-General of the RAK Municipality, said the scheme, still under study, will be carried out in collaboration with the public works and services department.
"The civic body here spares no effort to curb traffic accidents and tries all possible means to protect road users against stray animals, particularly during rains and poor visibility."
Brigadier Dr Mohammed Saeed Al Humaidi, director-general of the central operations room, RAK Police, said more traffic patrols have been deployed to get these stray animals off the emirate's roads and highways.
The RAK department of public works and services has set up traps at different areas to catch wild animals.
Caught in a trap
Camels, goats and cows caught in the trap are subjected to veterinary examination to make sure they are free from contagious diseases.
If they are found to be disease free and fit for human consumption, they are moved to the RAK Central Abattoir where they are slaughtered and distributed to charity societies.
Camels are, however, mostly spared, kept in the department barn, and never slaughtered due to their financial and traditional value.
In case the owner of the animal has already filed a missing report at the department, he shall suffer a fine of Dh1,000 to get it back.
The owner, following strict verification procedure, shall then be forced to sign a declaration never to leave his animal unattended.
Though the department does not have the right seals to stamp or numerate the animals caught, it is easy to identify animals that have been trapped before and the department's skilled inspectors can easily identify their owners.
"Fences are also being built to keep stray animals off the road," said Ahmed Al Shehi, manager of public services at the department.
The big challenge, however, is some landlords refuse to have fences installed around their land close to public roads, according to informed sources.
The department has also completed an animal shelter at Red Island, he said. "Up to 66 stray animals have been caught in the traps this year, so far."
This is a significant drop when compared to last year when 146 animals were caught, he pointed out. "As many as 150 animals were caught in 2014 and 350 in 2013."
Sign boards have also been installed across the emirate to alert cattle owners on how important it is to keep their animals safe.
The department has also received several complaints about stray animals entering compounds of residents and causing havoc. "These are apart from the many traffic accidents involving stray animals reported," he said.
Shepherds, however, blame speeding motorists for the death of these animals. "If they (motorists) observe speed limits, such accidents would not happen," one of them said.
On July 16, two people - a 28-year-old Emirati and a 32-year-old Comorian resident - were killed, and a third was seriously injured after the car they were travelling in hit four stray camels which also died on the spot.

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