A new federal law regulating the possession, trade and breeding of dangerous animals has been issued by the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Penalties range from AED10,000 to AED700,000 for breaches of the law which has been introduced to deter locals from keeping pets including cheetahs and lions.
According to reports, the new law bans dealing in and ownership of “all types of wild and domesticated but dangerous animals”, adding that such animals can only be kept at zoos, wildlife parks, circuses, breeding and research centres.
Wildcats including cheetahs are known to have been domesticated in the UAE and neighbouring Gulf countries, with some spotted being taken outside in the middle of big cities.
Four lions, a lioness, three pythons, and two crocodiles have been removed from homes in Sharjah by the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), it was reported in October.
Also that month, five tigers on a beach near Dubai’s Burj Al-Arab hotel were captured on video, while others have been filmed driving around with lions.
The legislation also reportedly imposes new restrictions on traditional pets.
Dog owners are required to get permits and keep the animals on leashes in public,while those who fail to obtain the licences face fines of up to AED100,000, reports said.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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