ABU DHABI // The list of banned dogs for import is being expanded this year from seven to 12 by the Ministry of Climate Change, the department assigned to administer animal welfare law and its new amendments.
Those rules will be enforced by municipalities around the UAE.
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.
Other breeds added to the banned list this year include the American bully, rottweilers, breed or hybrid, doberman pinschers, perro de presa canario and boxer dogs.
Banned breeds, once registered, cannot be re-homed or adopted if the owner decides to give up the dog. Re-registration with another owner will no longer be possible.
Dogs must be handed over to the municipality only, which will decide on a case-to-case basis what will happen to the dog.
It has been decided to not kill banned breeds if they are not aggressive, with suggestions to transfer them to a non-killing shelter and then re-home them abroad.
“As much as I admire the new law, its measurements and the future responsibility of the owners towards their banned breeds, there is a dark side to it,” said animal welfare volunteer Evelyn Priess. “An owner who does not have good intentions with his banned breed, such as breeding or fighting, will not register the dog, simply to avoid being identified in case the dog has been dumped after giving birth or has been found after being used to fight and is heavily injured.”
If a banned breed is found unattended or without its owner, the dog will be confiscated. This will be considered a case of neglect and the banned breed rules will apply.
Owners will have to ensure their dog is always walked on a leash. Breach of this regulation will lead to confiscation and no option to have the dog returned.
“I am concerned about the number of dogs possibly being dumped after the announcement, because owners could be caught with their dogs at any stage and many would not want this to happen,” Ms Priess said.