UAE mulls new laws to halt exotic pets trend

Top level officials urge draft laws to prevent wild animals being kept as pets in UAE

The UAE said on Tuesday it is mulling new legislation to stop the practice of Emiratis owning exotic animals as pets.

The country's Ministry of Environment is being urged to draft laws to prevent the practice which is becoming more common among UAE citizens.

The directive came from the Ministerial Council for Services whose latest meeting was presided over by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy prime minister and minister of presidential affairs, state news agency WAM reported.

The move follows several recent reports of wild animals being spotted around the UAE.

Last month, a pet cheetah died after escaping from its cage in a private villa while a baboon was found wandering around Garden City.

And in February, a picture of a tiger hanging out of the window of a car driving in the Marina Promenade area proved a major hit on social networking websites.

Over a day the picture became a social media trend and was tagged a “top image” by Twitter.

Last year, UAE residents were warned they face a fine of up to AED50,000 and six months in jail if they flout laws on selling and owning endangered species.

The warning from the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) came just weeks after a UAE man was arrested at Bangkok International Airport after his suitcases were found to be filled with endangered animals.

The animals, which included baby leopards, panthers, a bear and monkeys, had been drugged and were bound for Dubai, anti-trafficking group FREELAND Foundation said.

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Posted by: Amused in Dubai

I can only imagine that these new laws will be enforced exactly the same way many other (traffic anyone?) are.
This will certainly improve the lives of the many exotic pets held by the ungrateful expats then.

Posted by: Concerned

seen it how to report it confidencial?

Posted by: Concerned

Hope the authorites not just "mulls" over new legislation but actually gets to concrete solutions at the earliest. Put in a complete stop to keeping "wild" animals as pets for a start and then look at the nitty gritties. Hope irresponsible citizens don't find any loop holes before the legislation is even put together! Dear Authorities please save these animals, please !

Posted by: ZeTallGerman

Finally! Let's hope that the UAE cracks down on this despicable trade and actually starts honouring the CITES agreement they signed so many years ago! These poor animals need to remain either in the wild, or in appropriate protected habitats where they can breed and live their lives as wild animals, not as pets that are abused and abandoned at the Dubai Zoo eventually.

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