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Animal Welfare in the United Arab Emirates

Addressing Underlying Causes of Stray and Abandoned Animals in Ras Al Khaimah and Greater UAE

Over the last year, there have been increasing reports of stray, abandoned, and surrendered animals in Ras Al Khaimah and other emirates. This has led to growing complaints from the community to address the issue and the resulting costs and demands on local governments as these animals pose environmental and safety concerns. This is especially challenging as stray and abandoned animals threaten the natural ecosystem and give the environment an unfavorable image, which can negatively impact local businesses and tourism. The stray and abandoned animal population requires human intervention to control; otherwise, the population may grow exponentially, further impacting the environment and increasing costs to the community. 

Several strategies can be used to control the stray and abandoned animal population, such as Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs. However, several factors impact the effectiveness of TNR programs, most notably the community’s knowledge and awareness. It is recommended that TNR programs be complemented by other initiatives on raising awareness and educating the public, which can be further supported through collaborations with other stakeholders in the animal welfare sector. 

By identifying strategies to support animal welfare and address stray and abandoned animals in Ras Al Khaimah and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in general, this report aims to identify key stakeholders, what is currently being done to support animal welfare – including TNR, and the community’s understanding and awareness around these topics. It begins with a literature review on TNR, followed by an explanation of the methodology used. The findings are presented in three parts: the stakeholder landscape, the community’s feedback, and the perspectives of concerned public sector officials before concluding with a discussion on the challenges and recommending potential next steps to consider. 

Recommended citation: Dingus, D., Farhat, J., & Melon, L. (2021). Animal welfare in the United Arab Emirates: Addressing underlying causes of stray and abandoned animals in Ras Al Khaimah and greater UAE (Strategic Report No. 6). Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.

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