Closing the gap between legislation and practice in Dubai

The International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Emirate of Dubai’s Veterinary Services Section Department of Public Health Services hosted the country’s first animal welfare seminar in October.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Emirate of Dubai’s Veterinary Services Section Department of Public Health Services hosted the country’s first animal welfare seminar in October. The purpose of the seminar was to talk about ways to close the gap between legislation and the practice of animal welfare.

About 45 participants from government ministries, agencies and offices, IFAW and K9 Friends attended the seminar.

Although the UAE enacted the Animal Welfare Federal Act No. 16 in 2007, the law has not been widely implemented.

I spoke to a reporter for The National about what are the common violations of the law such as dog fights, irresponsible ownership, improper transport and keeping exotic and endangered animals as pets.

I believe we need a nationwide database that details the number of cases that go to court and the penalties that were administered.

The transporting of animals was a particularly hot topic. Right now, there is no law and it’s unclear who is responsible for issuing licenses for transporting animals within the Emirates.

The seminar concluded with recommendations for putting the principles of Islam into context with animal welfare, the importance of training vets and their assistants on how to work with animals and the need to raise community awareness about cruelty to animals.

-- EM

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