By Staff writer
Federal National Council backs draft legislation after completing talks on penalties for violating owners
The UAE has approved a draft federal law covering the regulation of owning a dangerous animal in the country, following reports of animals roaming loose.
According to news agency WAM, the Federal National Council (FNC) has approved during its 13th meeting of the first ordinary session of the 16th legislative chapter, draft legislation after the completion of discussion on the articles regarding penalties and amendment of the two addendums attached to the bill.
WAM did not give any further details about penalties or the addendums.
The session was held at the FNC's headquarters in Abu Dhabi chaired by Dr Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the FNC.
In March it was reported that the FNC was discussing an outright ban on people in the UAE owning wild animals.
Under a draft law, which covers possession of wild animals by zoos, nature reserves and people, offenders could receive fines of up to AED500,000 and jail terms.
In January, three people were charged with public endangerment over an incident that saw a lioness escape from a home in Dubai and prowl the streets for several hours.
Associated Press reported that the owner of the lioness, the buyer and a middleman were charged after the lioness escaped on Thursday in the Al Barsha neighbourhood.
The animal was caught without incident and taken to the zoo.
Keeping wild animals as pets is seen as a status symbol in the Gulf states. In the UAE it is illegal to keep wild animals as pets without first obtaining a special permit.