By Sanya Nayeem
Regulations are clear about strict punishment for those who treat animals badly.
The caretakers of animals must take all necessary precautions to prevent cruelty. Those who conduct any of the following acts are considered cruel and punishable by law:
• To deny sufficient food, water and shelter for the animal.
• To beat the animal, causing it pain or harm.
• To practice any violent abuse, including sexual abuse.
• To subject animals used for riding, loading or drafting to excessive stress, irrespective of their power, age or health condition.
• To isolate, detain or transport the animal without giving sufficient food, water and ventilation or if the animal is unable to be moved due to ill health. Using unsuitable means or methods of animal care or husbandry. This includes mixing different animal species, transporting animals in unsuitable cages or through means that may injure them, and dragging them from their tails, legs or necks.
• Killing the animal in a merciless way or using slow means of death or causing them unreasonable or unjustifiable severe pain.
• Presenting, selling or trading in any injured, sick or physically unfit animals.
• Abandoning an animal or leaving it without care, for a long and unspecified period, unless the owner had an acceptable reason or was permitted by the competent authority.
• Sexual abuse of animals: imprisonment lasting at least one month and a fine of at least Dh5,000.
• Deliberate release of infected animals: imprisonment with a maximum duration of one year and a fine of at least Dh5,000 or one of the two penalties.
• Violating other regulations can warrant a fine of maximum Dh20,000.
Source: Ministerial Decision No 384 of the year 2008 on the Executive By-law of the Federal Law No 16 of the year 2007, Respecting Animal Welfare