Saudi Gazette – The Saudi Wildlife Authority has demanded the Ministry of Agriculture in coordination with provincial administrations implement an animal welfare program to stop violence against animals and punish the perpetrators.

The call came after many video clips showing torture of animals went viral on social media websites lately. These websites documented that several people were cruel to animals to the extent that in some cases animals were tortured to death.

One of the videos that surfaced on social media showed people setting fire to a fox, another depicting a driver’s attempt to run over a dog, and a third of a person cutting the ear of a wolf. The latest video was of a person torturing his neighbor’s donkey in the courtyard because of a personal dispute between them.

Spokesman for the Wildlife Authority Ahmed Al-Boug said: “Dealing violently with animals is subject to the system of animal welfare, a system the Kingdom and the Gulf Cooperation Council signed on. It mandates us that we should treat animals kindly.”

He added, “The system criminalizes treating animals violently, which is punishable by a fine of SR400,000.”

Lawyer Falah Al-Juhani said: “Harming animals is a terrible crime. We made legislation that guarantees our rights; we have not ignored putting together a law that guarantees the rights of other living organisms, including animals. There is a list of sanctions against animal rights violators.”

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