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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Major UAE summit on animal welfare to debate booming stray cat population and conditions in pet markets

The World Health Organisation will participate in the two-event to build awareness about caring for animals

Despite a nationwide ban, exotic animals such as cheetah cubs continue to be sold on social media accounts. Sammy Dallal / The National
Despite a nationwide ban, exotic animals such as cheetah cubs continue to be sold on social media accounts. Sammy Dallal / The National

The UAE is to host a major international conference dedicated to animal welfare.

Local and international groups such as the World Health Organisation are coming together discuss the proper treatment of animals.

The two-day conference starts on Sunday in Dubai and will discuss animal welfare in slaughterhouses, transport, at markets, on farms, in the wild and the issue of stray cats.

It will draw on Emirati experiences in rehabilitating race horses for police work, in addition to highlighting Abu Dhabi municipality's "trap, neuter and return programme" to tackle to issue of strays.

Environmental and animal welfare experts from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Jordan are also expected to participate. In addition, local and international organisations such as the World Health Organisation, Dubai Equestrian Club, Emirates Animal Welfare Society and Emirates Dog Owners Society will also be represented.

The conference is being run by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Saif Al Shara is assistant under-secretary for the sustainable communities sector at the ministry.

"Organising the second edition of this conference reinforces the UAE’s commitment to monitoring animal welfare procedures in the country to ensure they are in line with best international standards," he said. "It is our endeavour to build an integrated animal welfare system that provides best-in-class animal care in keeping with our ethical and religious values and socioeconomic interests."

The Abu Dhabi Waste Management Centre (Tadweer) runs a trap, neuter and release programme for stray cats. It is considered the most effective way to reduce the number of stray cats on our streets.

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