Private ownership of wild animals – a symbol of power for some – has been banned in the United Arab Emirates.
According to a report by Al Jazeera, keeping wildcats such as endangered cheetahs and all types of wild, dangerous animals as pets is now illegal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Viral videos of people having tigers out on a beach in Dubai or driving around with lions have caused commotions. Aside from being used as status symbols, these wild animals can also be used to “terrorise” others as stated by Al-Ittihad, an Arabic daily.
Gulf News also stated in their report that “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”. The fine can amount to 500,000 dirhams (£ 112,000).
According to The National, animal welfare activists in Dubai have recognised this new law as a good way to set an example for other countries.
The regional director at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Elsayed Mohamed, said: “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.”
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