Saudi Arabia on Monday became one of a few countries to mete out severe punishment against torturing animals, announcing those caught being cruel to pets and other animals could be jailed for up to five years.
The Saudi Ministry of Agriculture announced the sentence in response to a recent film showing a Saudi man cutting off a cat’s tail with an axe after he accused the pet of damaging his car fan.
The punishment also includes a fine ranging between SR1,000 and SR1000,000, according to the London-based Saudi Arabic language daily Al-Hayat.
“That man who was reported to have cut off the cat’s tail would be prosecuted for his cruelty,” the Ministry’s assistant undersecretary for animal wealth Khaled bin Mohammed Al Fuhaid told the paper.
“The punishment for such offences could involve a fine of up to SRone million and five years in prison depending on the type and size of the offence.”
Fuhaid said the kingdom’s laws protect all livestock and pets, including animals and birds, adding that attacking an animal who does not pose danger to man constitutes a “crime and violation of Islam” in Saudi Arabia.