It's official in the UAE: no more wild animal imports

The United Arab of Emirates’s Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) has announced a new regulation on importing wild animals.

What it means is that no more permits will be issued for personal or commercial use. The new procedure excludes wildlife breeding centres, universities, zoos and government agencies.

“The procedure existing ensures public health and safety and protects people and animals from communicable diseases or epidemics threats.’’ said Saif Al-Shara, Assistant Undersecretary for Livestock and Agriculture Affairs at the MoEW,

Finally, MoEW has decided to put public health and safety on the front line. No one can forget the horrible accident to Sara who was critically injured after being attacked by a lioness or the cheetah that roamed her house.

‘’We received complaint from citizens about the increase numbers of wild animal in public places and dangerous wild animals were being walked through public places’’ Saif Al-Shara said. ‘’People also are posting exotic animals advertisements on the Internet for selling’’.

IFAW’s office in Dubai called authorities many times about the need to stop issuing permits for importing wild animals. We also submitted ‘Killing with Keystroke’ report that investigates the wildlife trafficking on the Internet within UAE.  The report aimed to encourage MoEW to take action and prevent online illegal wildlife trade. 


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
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