By Frances Leate
Bahraini authorities have pledged a crackdown on the illegal import of endangered animals such as white tigers, African cheetahs and lion cubs.
They promised to shut down pet stores, zoos and farms that trade in exotic animals that are brought into the country through 'official channels'.
It is claimed some of the creatures are even sedated and driven from neighbouring countries through the King Fahad Causeway.
The GDN visited facilities where crocodiles, baboons, hyenas, oryx and deer were kept in poor conditions - some without water.
Our reporter also negotiated the import of an endangered white tiger cub for $1,200.
However, Supreme Council for Environment acting director Abdulqader Khamis said his team is drawing up tougher legislation to combat the growing problem.
He told the GDN he will also ensure Customs only let animals into the country that had first been authorised by the council.
"We are now in the process of developing a national legislation and we are working with government ministries, NGOs and other parties," he said.
"We have already started to strengthen the existing legislation and we hope to introduce new laws as soon as possible. More....