MAKKAH: Saudi Arabia has many regulations in place to ensure animal welfare, including animal welfare systems, veterinary quarantine and many systems related to wildlife protection, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.
The relevant authorities take punitive measures against those who violate these laws, said Dr. Suliman Abdullah Aba Al-Khail.
Fines totaling SR1.7 million ($453,333) have been imposed on 29 violators of the Animal Welfare Act, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture announced on Saturday.
The ministry said the violations included selling animal products unsafe for human consumption, transporting animals without the required health certificates, license-related violations, health violations inside facilities and the mistreatment of animals by not providing an appropriate environment for them.
Of the 29 violations, 16 were registered in Makkah, seven in Riyadh, two in Tabuk and one each in Jazan, Assir, Madinah and Hail.
Aba Al-Khail said that Makkah region had the most violations due to the continuous efforts to protect pilgrims and visitors from risks related to livestock and their products. He noted that the Kingdom “has a national contact point in the field of animal welfare at the World Organization
for Animal Health (OIE), and that there is cooperation with the organization in areas related to animal transport.”
Aba Al-Khail said that the ministry is working with its partners, private NGOs, government agencies, and individuals, to raise the level of animal welfare in the Kingdom, and make the necessary improvements through awareness and education, legislation, the punishment of abusers of animals, improved infrastructure, and support for licensed voluntary associations.
Regarding human health care, Aba Al-Khail said that the ministry works with its partners to protect people from the threat of common diseases being transferred between humans and animals.
The violations were monitored either by veterinary control teams of the ministry, or by joint cooperation with the security authorities.
Aba Al-Khail said that the requirements of livestock transport vehicles are stipulated in the Saudi standards for animal and poultry transport vehicles, some of which are currently being updated by the Saudi Organization for Standardization, Metrology and Quality (SASO).
The ministry praised veterinary observers at its branches and offices, and all those who contributed to reporting the violations especially those related to animal abuse.
The ministry urged owners and supervisors of facilities to cooperate with the observers and abide by the law.
It urged people to call the hotline on 8002470000 to report any suspected violation.