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People possessing wild animals will face 10-year jail, hefty fine

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has issued a warning against possession of wild animals with a 10-year jail term or a hefty fine of up to 30 million Saudi riyals under its environmental protection rules.

The Saudi Arabian authorities have decided to impose a hefty fine or imprisonment of 10 years over the violations of its environmental protection rules by possessing prey animals that is prohibited.

The action against the violators will be taken in cooperation between the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and the Ministry of Interior, Gulf News reported.

According to the report, a fine of up to 30 million riyals will be imposed on offenders, or those violators will be sent to jail for 10 years.

The warning was issued in connection with its initiatives to protect the environment. The Kingdom issued a set of regulations to preserve protected areas of wildlife to regulate the possession, trading, hunting and breeding of wild and dangerous animals.

Earlier in the month, the Saudi Arabian authorities had urged people to hand over wild animals they may be keeping as pets besides issuing a warning against illegal rearing of predators after a lion mauled its keeper to death last week.

The governmental Saudi National Centre for Wildlife had said in a statement that keeping predators are banned in the kingdom and highly dangerous.

“Importing predators for personal or commercial purposes is banned under a royal decree. The centre has not licensed any such imports,” Gulf News quoted the centre.

The centre had also urged keepers of wild animals to contact it to arrange their handover; otherwise they will be liable to law.

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