Explainer: Egypt’s new law regulating possession of dogs, dangerous animals

Walaa Gebba, Thursday 4 May 2023

Egypt's House of Representatives approved on Tuesday a bill regulating the ownership of dangerous animals and dogs, including exotic species and certain breeds that caused catastrophic incidents in recent months.

Dog
AP

 

The 29-article bill, stipulating strict criteria for ownership and sale, is meant to prevent animal cruelty and protect citizens.

The bill covers concerns such as dangerous animal possession, unauthorised dog ownership, and breeding dangerous pets, promoting a safer and more compassionate community and guaranteeing these animals are kept and sold responsibly.

Guidelines for dog owners

The law stipulates dog owners must follow these requirements:

  • Take the necessary steps to ensure the animal does not escape.
  • Offer appropriate housing for the animal.
  • License the dog.
  • Provide health treatment for it, with the need of keeping documents that detail its medical history. The General Authority for Veterinary Services should be notified if the dog is infected, dies, or escapes; if a person is injured or killed as a result of a dog attack; if the owner wishes to transfer or abandon the dog; or if he is unable to accommodate it.

Restrictions in public places

The law obliges dog owners — aged 18 and above — to keep dogs muzzled and firmly leashed when taken outside.

The licence comes with a metal plate bearing a serial number permanently affixed to the dog's neck for identification and proof of licensing.

Penalty for owning unlicensed dogs

Dog owners who fail to license their pets will face severe penalties, including:

  • A fine of EGP 10,000 for bringing dogs into public places without a licence.
  • If found guilty of possessing, handling, or breeding an unlicensed dog, the dog owner could face imprisonment for a minimum of three months, a fine of at least EGP 30,000, or both.
  • In case of assaulting people with a hazardous animal or dog, the penalty is imprisonment for no less than six months and a fine not less than EGP 50,000, or one of these two penalties.
  • If the infringement was deliberate or premeditated, the penalty is imprisonment for no less than one year and a fine of no less than EGP 100,000, or one of these two penalties.
  • If the attack causes illness or incapacity for more than 20 days, the penalty is nine months in jail and a fine of no less than EGP 75,000 or one of these two penalties.
  • If the infringement was intentional or planned, the penalty is one year in jail and a fine of no less than 1,000 or one of these two penalties.
  • If the attack results in permanent disability, the offender faces imprisonment for no less than three years and no more than seven years, as well as a fine of no less than EGP 200,000 and hard labour imprisonment for no less than five years and a fine of no less than EGP 500,000 if the infraction was deliberate or premeditated.
  • No less than 10 years in jail for any person body who assaults another with a hazardous animal or a dog and does not aim to kill, but the incident results in death.
  • If the violation was deliberate or premeditated, the penalty is life imprisonment or hard labour for no less than 15 years and no more than 20 years.

Licensing fees
Dog owners are required to license their pets at the General Authority for Veterinary Services within six months of passing the law.

The licence costs between EGP 1,000 and EGP 15,000.

Regulations in other countries 
Several countries have banned the possession of hazardous animals and dogs altogether, often due to safety concerns.

In Singapore, some dog breeds, such as pit bulls and American Staffordshire terriers, are prohibited. Importing and keeping exotic animals as pets is also prohibited.

Australia has strict rules governing exotic animal possession, including a ban on importing most species. Certain dog breeds, such as pit bulls, are prohibited in some states and territories.

The United Arab Emirates has banned the ownership of certain dog breeds, such as pit bulls and rottweilers, as well as certain exotic animals. 

Kuwait has also implemented strict rules for dog ownership, such as mandatory licensing, vaccination, and microchipping.

 

 

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