DUBAI // Pitbull terriers, rottweilers and dobermans are among the breeds of dogs banned from next month's Dubai pet show.
The ban has been made in a bid to prevent a repeat of last year's horrific fatal attack on a poodle by an American Staffordshire terrier.
A spokesman for the pet show, which will be held at the Dubai Rugby Sevens stadium on February 8, said the measures had been implemented after consultation with local authorities. "The show's organisers have been working very closely with Dubai Municipality to ensure a family-friendly environment for all visitors," he said.
"In line with the municipality's regulations, the Dubai pet show has introduced new entrance policies to reflect the Government's restrictions on certain dog breeds - including pitbulls - and muzzling."
A list of seven banned breeds was circulated by the Ministry of Environment in 2009. These dogs cannot be kept as pets.
Dubai Municipality has added three other breeds to that list - including rottweilers - and these dogs cannot be kept in apartments.
The official punishment for keeping banned dogs is confiscation of the animal and a fine - but the law is often only enacted when the municipality receives an official complaint.
In addition to banning entry to certain types of dogs, staff at the show's gates will also make arbitrary rulings on muzzling particular dogs. Muzzles will need to be provided by guests.
Dogs must be kept on short leads at all times and leads must be held by an adult. In addition, municipality inspectors at the show can impose fines on those not following regulations and have the right to expel anyone at the first sign of aggression from their dog.
Nazanin Karimian, the owner of the four-year-old male poodle Pluto which was killed after being attacked at the show last year, said the changes only came about after complaints. "They never contacted me and they ignored the issue," she said. "If they've done some changes this year, it's because we contacted the Government about it."
She said that although there were more safety measures, she still believed dog shows to be a difficult environment for animals.
"It's a very stressful situation for the pets," she said. "If there's an event that is making pets so tense that they can attack another pet, or even a human, then this is making them suffer."