Abandoning pets is now punishable by law in the UAE

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Pet owners who abuse or abandon their animals could face fines and jail time.

UAE residents who abandon their pets will face harsher penalties under new animal welfare regulations announced by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

The updated regulations outline the responsibilities of animal owners, as well as the health and technical standards of animal facilities, WAM reports.

Article 2 of the new regulations specifically refers to abandoning pets as an act of animal cruelty that is punishable by law, stating owners should not abandon animals under any circumstances.

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Those who “use animals in a way that goes against their nature in art and entertainment performances, in pranks, or in staged animal fights” will also be breaking the law.

“The UAE is strongly committed to animal welfare, which holds significant value in our Islamic beliefs and culture,” said Saif Mohammed Al Shara, acting assistant under-secretary for the Food Diversity Sector.

“Our role at MOCCAE is to develop a legislative framework for animal protection and biodiversity preservation. The executive regulations for Federal Law No. 16 of 2007 on animal welfare and its amendments in Federal Law No. 18 of 2016 are in line with global animal welfare standards.”

Other articles prohibited the use of electroshock devices and sharp tools in handling animals, as well as poking animals in sensitive areas to get them to move.

Barns, cages and stables must be be safe, sterile, and adequate for the species, gender, age, size, and weight of the animals.

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