x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Video of lioness in back of car in Dubai circulates on social media

Following several videos and photos of wild animals being transported in private cars in the emirate, Dubai Police have previously warned that such a practice is against the law.

DUBAI // A video purportedly showing a lioness in the back seat of a private car on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai has been circulating on social media.

The video shows a lioness pacing around in the back of a sport utility vehicle.

Following several videos and photos of wild animals being transported in private cars in the emirate, Dubai Police previously warned that such a practice is against the law.

Transporting wild animals in non-designated cars poses a danger to the people, police said, adding that it could also divert drivers’ attention. Last year, a research project showed the enormous scale of the illegal trade in big cats and other endangered wildlife advertised on UAE websites.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare conducted the survey, which showed more than 790 animal ads were posted on 11 websites. Only 20.7 per cent of the ads claimed documents were available.

The London Declaration on Wildlife Trade, which was ratified by 46 countries — including the UAE — on February 13 could help tighten rules over ownership of exotic and wild animals.

The international declaration, which is not legally binding, focused on halting the trade in ivory, however, it also addressed endangered animals such as cheetahs and lions, which are often sold as pets in private auctions in the region.

The UAE issued a law in 2012 forbidding the import of big cats by private collectors, even with documentation but there are currently no rules prohibiting their ownership.

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae