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New UAE law could ban possession of wild animals



A draft law is being proposed in the UAE to ban the possession of wild animals. According to Arabic language daily Emarat Al Youm, the Federal National Council will debate the new law, which would stop individuals from owning wild animals, but not authorised establishments.

The law is hoped to control the “trading and possession of all types of wild animals” in order to stop people from unlicensed dealing and ownership.

“The law includes deterrent penalties for offenders of up to three years in prison and/or AED30,000 fine,” reported Emarat Al Youm.

In addition to banning the unlicensed ownership of these animals, the law also outlines stricter records for wild or “non-pet” animals. It also calls for all kinds of imported animals to be registered and carry official certificates issued by UAE vets.

US based organization The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, who have published a brochure on why wild animals don’t make good pets, outline reasons not to bring these animals into your home. They highlight points such as, endangering the species, not providing the right environment, and the risk of harm to yourself and your family.

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In November 2014 a new law was introduced in Sharjah which prohibits the trade and possession of exotic wild animals. Breeding was also banned. As well as having the animals confiscated, the law could see offenders fined up to AED100,000.

The proposed UAE-wide law banning the possession of wild animals comes after a global campaign by Emirates to protect animals against illegal trade and poaching. In November last year the airline revealed two planes decorated with endangered species to support the campaign.

At the time, Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline said: “The world is in a global poaching crisis, and everyone has to do their part to stop this, before it is too late. Emirates believes that the global transport industry, including airlines, can play a significant role to break the supply chain of illegal wildlife trade. And at Emirates, we are committing the resources to do our part.”

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