Firm enforcement of new animal laws coming into force required, say welfare volunteers



ABU DHABI // New laws to ban dangerous animal breeds require firm enforcement if they are to succeed, animal welfare volunteers said.

The law will improve regulation of the possession, trade and breeding of dangerous animals, while tougher animal welfare laws, including harsher punishments for animal abuse and the illegal breeding and sale of animals, were a step forward, they said.

Anyone using a dangerous animal for assault will face up to seven years in prison under rules expected to come in to force on July 1. The trade in exotic pets is also expected to come under closer scrutiny.

“There needs to be more enforcement agents who know the law and how it can be enacted,” said Dr Susan Aylott, a spokeswoman for the Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi group.

“An animal welfare police section where the public can report concerns that will be followed up on would make a big difference. Laws are in place but they need to be better enforced.”

Owners have until July to register dogs already in the UAE that are on the banned breeds list. Banned dogs include all types of pit bull, wolf-dog hybrids, American Staffordshire terriers, Japanese tosa, Brazilian and Argentinian mastiffs and crossbreeds of any of the above six types of dog.

Breeds added to the list this year include the American bully, rottweilers – breed or hybrid – doberman pinschers, perro de presa canario and boxer dogs. Registration of the dogs will be compulsory.

nwebster@thenational.ae

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