The United Arab Emirates has finally banned its citizens from keeping exotic animals as pets—and instituted punishments ranging from $136,000 in fines to extensive jail time.
The UAE has long been a hub of wildlife trade, and owning animals like lions, tigers, or cheetahs has been viewed as a sign of status or privilege.
Should an animal be used to attack, terrorize, or kill another person, the owner responsible will face anywhere from 3 years to a lifetime in prison. Simply taking a volatile animal out in public will result in a fine upwards of $2,500.
Animal rights officials have encouraged the federal government in the US. to follow suit since it is still legal to own a tiger in eight different states: North Carolina, Alabama, Delaware, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.