In line with the recent ban on owning wild animals privately, officials are giving the owners of these exotic and dangerous pets six months to turn them over to the authorities.

The announcement was made in accordance to a new federal law, the Law on Regulation of Ownership of Dangerous Animals, which came into effect this year. The law states that only zoos, wildlife parks, circuses, breeding and research centers are entitled to keep dangerous, wild or exotic animals. All permits issued to other entities to import such animals will be revoked.

According to the law, most wild animals cannot be reared as pets since they are vulnerable to unpredictable behaviors that can cause injury or death. The law also bans dealing in and ownership of all types of wild and domesticated but dangerous animals.

Under the law, all kinds of imported animals have to be registered and must carry official certificates issued by authorities within 30 working days from the effective date of the law.

The law also provides for stiff fines on people who use their animals to attack people. Fines for using an animal to terrorize people carries a jail term, or a fine ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh400,000.

In the event an intended animal attack causes a disability, a prison term of up to seven years will be imposed on the owner. If the attack leads to death, the owner will face life imprisonment.