Despite a lack of enforcement, animal abuse is a crime in Qatar that is punishable through fines and jail time, local lawyers have said amid a rise in the number of stray cats and dogs in the country.
The Peninsula reports:
Beating up a stray or pet dog or cat can result in one being sent to jail for at least two months or a fine of QR1,000 or both, says a prominent lawyer. And the prison term is a minimum of three years or a penalty of QR2,000 or both for those found guilty of killing domestic animals, including honeybees, dogs and cats, says Yusuf Al Zaman.
The punishment is more severe (three-year jail term or a fine of QR5,000 or both) for killing animals that humans can ride like camels and donkeys, Al Zaman, said citing articles 393, 394 and 395 of the Criminal Penal Code (No 11 of 2004)
But there is no punishment for abandoning animals, which is what causes the number of stray animals in Qatar to surge in the summer months, when residents travel and leave their pets behind, animal welfare activists say.
And despite laws protecting animals from abuse, lax enforcement contributes to their woes.
The poor treatment of animals for sale at Souq Waqif, for example, has long been a sore subject in Qatar, with tourists and residents alike calling for reforms of conditions there.
Credit: Photo by Karen Blumberg