Dubai: Police in Abu Dhabi are investigating an incident of five cats that were thrown off the balcony last week.
The incident occurred last Wednesday in a residential building on Al Najda Street, and was brought to the attention of an animal rights activist after photos of the injured animals circulated on social media.
Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Manal Al Mansouri, director of the Yanni animal welfare group, who filed the police case in Abu Dhabi last Thursday, said that she was horrified to learn the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“The photos of the cats were spreading over social media and I felt it was my duty to do something about it,” said Dr Manal.
Photos and a video on social networking sites showed a large male cat and four kittens tossed over the balcony, and showed the injured cats lying helpless on the pavement next to a nearby parking lot.
“An Asian man found the cats but instead of notifying the authorities, he took them to a veterinary. But out of the five cats, only one kitten survived,” she said.
According to Federal Law 18, individuals who are found guilty of abusing or illegal hunting, buying or selling of animals face a fine of Dh200,000 and a one-year prison term.
The newly revised regulations issued by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), which came in effect earlier this month, stipulates that failure to properly care for animals will be punishable under the revised regulations, which come under Federal Law No. 16 of 2007 on animal welfare, and its amendments in Federal Law No. 18 of 2016.
The regulations — in line with global animal welfare standards — comprise nine articles that outline responsibilities for animal owners, health and technical standards of animal facilities, animal nutrition, and guidelines for loading, transporting, and unloading animals.
“It’s a tragedy what happened. The cats were thrown by a 13-year-old boy with autism, who was left at home with the housemaid as his parents were out. The issue of balconies and windows have to be addressed, and a child with special needs should be supervised at all times,” said Dr Manal.