Its not unusual to see someone in UAE walking a tiger, cheetah or a hyena on a leash, in fact it has been considered as a ‘must have’ accessory for Dubai’s rich. This lack of regulation has contributed towards endangered and wild animals being stolen from the wild and sent to UAE for a life of domestication.
However this week, it was reported that there is a new ban coming into force dealing in and ownership of all types of wild, domesticated and dangerous animals. Such animals can now only be kept at zoos, wildlife parks, circuses, breeding and research centres, Gulf News said.
“Anyone who takes a leopard, cheetah or any other kind of exotic animal out in public will face a jail term of up to six months and a fine” of up to 500,000 dirhams ($136,000), it added.
Al-Ittihad, an Arabic daily, said those who use wild animals to “terrorise” others would face jail or fine of up to 700,000 dirhams.
Elsayed Mohamed, regional director at the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Dubai, was quoted by Abu Dhabi-based The National newspaper as saying that the UAE had set an example for the GCC.
“We welcome and congratulate the UAE Government in taking this important initiative, which we wish to be a milestone for the rest of the countries, not just in the region, but also in the world,” he said.
The following YouTube film shows an incident involving a pet tiger escaping from a car on a freeway in Qatar