UAE Outlaws Owning Cheetahs And Other Wild Animals As Pets

First Posted: Jan 07, 2017 03:40 AM EST

The United Arab Emirates has outlawed owning wild animals as pets.

The Gulf News reported that while having cheetahs, leopards, tigers and lions as pets are considered as status symbols in the UAE, the government has imposed huge fines and penalties of imprisonment to those caught owning them.

According to the new law, these big cats should only be kept in wildlife parks, circuses, zoos and research and breeding centers.

People caught taking these dangerous animals out in public will be jailed for six months or be fined ranging from Dh10,000 (about $2,700) to Dh500,000 (about $136,000). Moreover, using these wild species for trading purposes will pay a fine of Dh50,000 (about $13,600) to Dh500,000, may be imprisoned or both.

Those who are caught using their wild pets to attack and disable other people will be detained in jail from three to seven years. If a person dies, the owner of the animal shall face life imprisonment.

Minor injuries will be subjected to imprisonment of less than a year or a fine of Dh400,000 (about $108,900). Meanwhile, using these wild animals to threaten people will be fined from Dh100,000 (about $27,000) to Dh700,000 (about $190,500).

Furthermore, the UAE government also imposed stricter regulations in owning domestic animals. Starting this June, dog owners should present a license for their pets. When in public, these dogs should be kept on a leash as well.

For imported animals, permits should be attained from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) and other vet offices in the UAE.

Time Magazine reported that photos of dangerous wild animals displayed in public have been posted on social media prior to the law. Cheetahs were found on the hoods of Bentleys while lions are placed on passenger seats. In Qatar, a video of a tiger running along the road in heavy traffic was posted on Twitter.

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