Muscat: The animal owners have to bear a fine of up to RO 100 if their animals are found stray, grazing in cities and residential villages or less than one kilometre from public roads, or half a kilometre from sub-roads, according to a decision of the Minister of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources.
RO100 is fine for each stray camel and horse, RO50 for each cow, and RO 30 for each goat, sheep, or other animals. All fines shall be doubled in case the violation is repeated during the same year.
The decision also stipulated that the competent municipality shall set up animal enclosures for the seized animals to provide food, water, care like isolation of infected animals and provide the necessary treatment as directed by the veterinarian.
The owners of the stray or neglected animals have to bear the ‘care charges’ upon a claim for their release. The fee for this is RO150 per day for every camel or a horse, RO50 per day for every head of a cow, RO10 per day for each goat, sheep, or other animals.
According to the decision, the competent municipality must hand over the stray or neglected animal to its owner by confirming his details after collecting fines. The municipality shall be responsible, through a public auction, for the sale of stray animals.
This comes at a time when stray animals on the roads have become an uncivilised phenomenon, besides they expose road goers to great danger due to the lack of responsibility of the owners of these animals towards society.
This has caused many human losses and fatal accidents, pushing the ministry to set strict penalties for the violators.
Violations of stray animals monitored annually by the ministry are considered high. In 2019, there were more than 365 violations reported, while violations that caused accidents amount to 520, this for camels only, according to a media statement by Legal Department at the ministry last May.
For this reason, the ministry began to take legal measures against violators who leave the animals loose and refer them to the public prosecutor.
Stray animals stated in the decision include horses, cows, goats, and lamb or any animal – dumped by its owner or the person responsible for its well-being – go wherever it wants without supervision.