Huge fines for unregistered vets under new law

Veterinary clinics will have to register with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment for a licence to practice medicine

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Vets who practice medicine without a valid licence will be imprisoned for a minimum of one year and fined up to Dh200,000 after President Sheikh Khalifa issued a federal law on Sunday.

All veterinary medicine and support services must register to be issued a licence from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

The update to the law aims to regulate veterinary medicine and support services, bring services in line with international standards and safeguard the health of livestock and other animals in the country.

Establishment owners who employ a veterinarian or support staff without a licence will be fined between Dh10,000 and Dh200,000 while the court may decide to close the clinic, terminate its licence, and confiscate its equipment and supplies.

Those who practice veterinary medicine without a licence will be face the same fine and may be imprisoned for a minimum of one year.

Those who establish a veterinary facility without licence will be imprisoned with a fine of Dh20,000 to Dh200,000, the same penalty applies should a licence be obtained illegally.

The law also punishes practitioners who conduct experiments or research on animals without a permit from the ministry with imprisonment and a fine ranging from Dh50,000 to Dh500,000.

Exports of animal diagnostic samples are also prohibited without a permit from the Ministry and offenders will face imprisonment and a fine of Dh50,000 to Dh1 million.

In addition, a fine of Dh10,000 to Dh100,000 will be issued to any veterinarian who fails to report epidemic diseases to the Ministry.

The Minister of Climate Change and Environment may initiate disciplinary sanctions against a veterinary medicine practitioner should they breach any of the laws.

The sanctions include a warning, closure of the practice for a period not exceeding one year, or withdrawal of the licence.