Lebanon has implemented its first ever law to protect domestic and wild animals.
Last week, Lebanese president Michel Aoun passed, the animal welfare bill into law.
The new law will guarantee that domestic and wild animals are legally protected from abuse, reports The New Arab.
‘A great day for Lebanon’
The legislature was passed after several years of lobbying by animal-rights nonprofit Animals Lebanon.
“It’s a great day for Lebanon” and its animals, said the group’s executive director Jason Mier.
With new law, Lebanon’s regulations are as strict as other laws in the region, he told media outlet Agence France-Presse.
The legislature sets four penalties for mistreating domestic pets and wild animals used for entertainment in zoos and circuses.
Penalties can be up to four months in prison, and fines up to LL100 million ($66,000).
“The importance of this law is that we can cover all institutions that care for and maintain animals,” said Animals Lebanon’s lawyer Rania Saghieh.
“When we used to monitor violations (in the past), we always felt that we didn’t have a strong legal basis that we could lean on,” she added.
The law also bans keeping wild or endangered animals as pets.
“We do not expect to see any improvements next week or next month,” Mier said.
“But now we have the tools, and we have a path.”