Dubai: Penalties for mistreating animals in the UAE will range from Dh5,000 to Dh20,000 once an animal welfare law is introduced, Gulf News has learnt.
An initial draft of the law which was under review last year has been approved by the Ministry of Environment and Water and will be passed this month, said a veterinarian source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Gulf News acquired a copy of the draft law which states that owners and keepers of animals shall take all reasonable steps to ensure the welfare of animals and that they are not caused any unnecessary pain, suffering or injury.
Animals must be given protection from the weather and predators and be fed a wholesome diet appropriate for their age and species, and receive a continuous supply of fresh drinking water each day, the law says.
The law is similar to European laws and is very positive for the UAE, he said.
"There are cases of people burning chickens alive to death here. There are many important welfare issues to be addressed," he added.
Penalties for mistreatment of animals will range from Dh5,000 to Dh20,000 and prison terms.
Gulf News acquired a copy of the draft law which states that owners and keepers of animals shall take all reasonable steps to ensure the welfare of animals under their care; and to ensure that the animals are not caused any unnecessary pain, suffering or injury.
Concerning impounded animals, the law states they will only be returned after recuperation on condition the owner's negligence will not recur. It states no person shall set free or abandon any animal whose survival normally depends upon human care. In the case of a desire to abandon an animal it must be handed over to the competent or specified authorities.
Animals must be given protection from the weather and predators and be fed a wholesome diet appropriate for their age and species, and receive a continuous supply of fresh drinking water each day.
The law prohibits the sexual abuse of animals and ill-treatment, such as lashing, as well as the sale or trafficking of any diseased or injured animals.
According to a ministry source a committee is now being formed for the application of the federal law on animal welfare.
Jobs are being created to involve the public sector and bring different bodies together.
Residents will also have to be made aware of the law and it may come as a surprise to some, said the ministry source.
"Some people really don't know that this can exist and will exist. The law has penalties and any cases will and can be taken to the police. A lot of animal lovers have written to the ministry and we have received many letters about animal cruelty," he said.
The federal law also prohibits the use of animals for scientific purposes without permission from competent or specified authorities.
A marine mammal guide will also be prepared.
The law: Access to water vital
- It is prohibited to organise general exhibitions, competitions, wrestling of animals or birds or animal shows for commercial purposes (article 13).
- Whoever molests an animal shall be jailed for a period of not less than one month and fined personally a minimum of Dh5,000 (article 17).
- Animals should always be able to have access to good water sources (article 8).
- The animal's owner is forbidden to release any animal under his care, whether healthy or sick (article 4).
To those who don't agree with this law. No one obliges you to get a pet, but if you do it then you have to treat the animal with respect. This is the meaning of the law and it does not give more importance to animals compared to humans. Humans can protest, strike, animals can't but they're also creatures of God! Aren't they
Posted: August 03, 2008, 14:26
I can only be thankful that this is being put into place, I rescued a dog in 2005 that was publicised in the Gulf News, the poor dog was badly abused and abandoned. Equal rights either human or animal are imperative. We cannot expect to get rid of evil if we allow humans to think that it is ok to hurt one of God?s creatures. I am 100 per cent happy that this will be recognised and enforced, I just hope that the money will go to foundations such as K9 Friends and Feline Friends and any other animal rescue scheme here in the UAE.
Posted: August 03, 2008, 13:56
Brilliant move! It is the most compassionate move. Domesticated animals are wholly dependent on their masters' care, and they need to be taken care of.
Posted: August 03, 2008, 13:23
How we treat our animals says everything about ourselves. I'm glad people are changing the laws to protect the innocent animals and speaking out for the ones that cannot speak. The stiffer the penalties the better. People need to think how they would want to be treated if the tables were turned.
Posted: August 03, 2008, 10:00
What a refreshing story! Not only does the magnificent government address the plight of foreign workers and passing civil laws that protect their best interests, it now is passing humane laws to protect animals in the region. Thank you!
Posted: August 03, 2008, 09:37
I am so glad to hear that the animals have found a voice in this country!
Posted: August 03, 2008, 09:32
I am so happy with this news. I hope that every citizen in the UAE will follow the law and report any abuse done to any animal.
Posted: August 03, 2008, 09:20
I hope these laws are executed and implemented at the earliest. I have personally witnessed animal cruelty and have had K9friends coming to the rescue. It is a relief to know there is a legal backup.
Posted: August 03, 2008, 09:00
I have seen some boys hurling cats on the road for speeding cars to run over them. It is very barbaric. I hope the law will prevent this from happening.
Posted: August 03, 2008, 07:51
I personally welcome the new law that is coming into. Dubai has seen its share of cruelty to animals and I think it is high time that the government did something about it. Also, the government needs to provide more facilities to animal owners in the city, like pet parks.
Posted: August 03, 2008, 07:47