AJMAN // Animal lovers living in apartments in the emirate are to be banned from owning a pet and limits are to be imposed on the number of dogs a person can own, under new rules issued by the municipality.
Anyone wishing to own a pet in Ajman will in future have to apply for a licence from the Ajman Municipality or the Department of Public Health and Environment.
A municipality spokeswoman yesterday urged anyone who currently has more than two dogs or who has a pet and lives in an apartment to inform the public health department, which will make a decision on whether the owner can keep the animals.
The strict rules, issued with the aim of protecting people against the spread of diseases, also state that pets, such as cats and dogs, cannot be kept in independent villas that do not have a garden.
People cannot own more than two dogs and must keep them muzzled and on a lead at all times when in public. Owners must also dispose of their pet's waste properly.
Pets of all kinds are banned from public places such as restaurants, shopping centres and on public transport.
Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, the chairman of the Ajman Municipality and Planning Directorate, said the new rules were aimed at maintaining the health and safety of the community from diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans.
Each animal must be immunised against infectious diseases at a veterinary clinic approved by the municipality and this should be documented and updated annually. Officials will carry out inspections to make sure all pets have received the correct jabs.
Authorities must also be informed if ownership of an animal is transferred to another person.
In the event of an animal's death, the owner must file a report within 24 hours.
An owner's pet licence will be taken away in they break any of the new rules, or if the animal becomes infected with a contagious disease.
Complaints from residents, or if the animal is being used for commercial purposes, can also result in a licence being revoked.
Owners can reclaim their pet within three days if it is picked up by the municipality as a stray, but only once the owner has paid a fine.