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Dubai: Owning endangered animals in Saudi Arabia has become a crime punishable by a SR30 million fine and 10 years in jail.

According to media reports, the Kingdom has criminalised possession of endangered animals by individuals and will punish anyone found having an endangered animal with a SR30 million fine and or 10 years in jail.

Attorney Nojoud Qasim said the kingdom’s new law aims to protect the environment by protecting endangered animals.

She called on everyone to adhere to environmental principles and strictly regulate activities and services that impact the environment.

According to the new environmental law, no one is allowed to engage in environmental activities or those that have an environmental impact without obtaining a licence consistent with what has been stipulated in the regulations, she said.

The environment law in Saudi Arabia prohibits trafficking in wild animals, taking them outside the borders, extract them and their derivatives from the marine and coastal environment, place any of them in a controlled place and using them in shows and activities without obtaining a permit.

The law also prohibits killing or harming living animals and creatures, Nujoud said, noting that it excludes slaughter in specific cases as stipulated in the regulations.

She also indicated that it is prohibited to hunt animals except specific types and after obtaining a permit for hunting in places and times determined by the authorities.

Recently, Riyadh police arrested a citizen for holding three lions in cages inside his rest house in the city.