ABU DHABI // The man filmed encouraging two dogs to attack and kill a cat in a gruesome online video will face the full weight of UAE law once caught, the Minister for Climate Change and Environment has said.
In the video a white cat is shown being pulled out of a cage before it is attacked by two large black dogs.
The clip, which has been widely circulated on social media, is believed to have been recorded in the UAE although this has not been officially confirmed.
Using the hashtag #NoToAnimalAbuse, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, tweeted: “Inflicting injury or malicious killing of animals is unaccepted and anyone in violation of Federal Law No18, 2016 will be held accountable.”
He added that the man’s action “do not comply with the teachings of Islam nor with the customs and values of the UAE”.
“We will coordinate with specialised authorities to track the person accountable for this act of animal cruelty and do the necessary,” said the minister.
Authorities in the UAE have been successful in tracking down similar cases of animal abuse. In September last year an Emirati teenager was filmed throwing a cat against a wall in Ajman. He was arrested after the video was posted online but later released without charge. His parents pledged that he would not repeat the incident.
“We succeeded in identifying the individual who tormented the cat last year,” said Dr Al Zeyoudi.
President Sheikh Khalifa issued the federal law to tackle cases of animal cruelty. Anyone in violation faces a one-year jail term and/or a fine not exceeding Dh200,000.
The threat of jail terms and heavy fines for those convicted of abuse were welcomed by welfare groups as a sign of the government’s commitment to animal protection.
However, incidents of abuse still continue. In Dubai in November last year, a five-month-old kitten was found with its ears and tail cut off. The cat was found in a pool of blood by a woman after she heard the animal crying in pain.
Between January and July that year Dubai Municipality responded to 4,500 animal welfare complaints.