Dubai: More than 50 people are expected to gather outside the venue of the 25th annual Pet Show to protest a decision barring certain breeds of dogs from participating.
The show will be held at the Dubai Rugby Sevens arena on February 8.
Hundreds of people participate in the show every year with their pets, which include both dogs and cats.
Dubai Municipality recently came up with new regulations for the annual pet show after a pitbull killed a poodle at last year’s event. In an effort to prevent a similar tragedy from occurring, the municipality banned pit bull terriers, Brazilian and Argentinian fighting dogs, American Staffordshire terriers, Japanese tosas, wolf dogs, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Shar Peis and any cross breed of the dogs listed.
However, the decision has not gone down well with owners of such breeds.
“Because of last year’s event, many dogs are banned and have been judged horribly,” said Ebrahim Ebi, the organiser of the demonstration, who also owns a pit bull.
“Such kinds of dogs have gained a bad reputation because they have been trained to fight and be aggressive, but I am against that. I say, judge the owner and not the dog,” he said.
“The pet show was the only day of the year when I could go out with my dog, and I don’t understand why I cannot be part of the show. I am against animal cruelty, and if a dog is properly trained and treated in humane conditions, such as mine, it becomes a family dog and is completely safe,” Ebi added.
However, the sponsors of the show Pedigree and Whiskas defended the decision to ban certain breeds, saying: “The restrictions on entry for certain breeds of dogs are part of the enhanced rules and regulations that have been instated in accordance with the Dubai Municipality’s canine laws.”
A municipal circular has empowered authorised municipal veterinary surgeons present at the gates to use their discretion in determining which dog will be allowed entry.
The circular adds that dog owners should present their pet’s registration and vaccination booklets to Dubai Municipality staff at the gate and bars puppies under six months of age from gaining entry to the event.
Municipal inspectors have also been authorised to impose penalties on pet owners who do not abide by the rules and regulations of the event. It also empowers municipal vets to determine if certain dogs need to be muzzled, in which case the dog will be muzzled for the duration of the event, with the owner providing the muzzle.
The circular adds that municipal inspectors reserve the right to expel anyone from the event venue for inappropriate behaviour or signs of aggression, and that dog owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs.