Kuwait Law: Animal Rights

Post by Fajer Ahmed

With the very recent unfortunate animal mass murder event in Kuwait, I wanted to discuss the very unfortunate laws that regulate animal abuse in Kuwait.

The Kuwaiti constitution does not mention any animal rights.
The Kuwaiti penal (criminal law) does not specify that the abuse of animals is a crime.

However the only law that discusses the killing of an animal is article 253 of the criminal law:

A person who kills an animal owned by another, gives it a poisonous or harmful substance, injures it, makes it useless or decreases its benefits, deliberately and unjustifiable shall be punished up to 2 years of imprisonment and/or shall pay up to 2000 rupees

People make the mistake to think that the above article makes animal abuse a crime, it does not. The article specifies that the animal has to belong to someone so there is no regards for stray dogs. The article also specifies that the animal has to belong to someone other than the abuser. So if someone tortures their own dog, they are not punished.

Situation A

Person X kills the dog of person Y, with intent and for no reason. Person X is a criminal.

Situation B

Person X kills a stray dog, person X is not a criminal.

If you are wondering why the article is written that way, its because animals are defined in Kuwaiti law as a materialistic item, in other words… an object. Your dog is considered to be like your phone, your car or like your laptop. Animals in other countries are considered living creatures while in Kuwait the article above on animal killing is located under vandalism in the penal law.

Some of laws are appalling and I am trying think of ways we can get them to change the one on animal abuse. Here are my suggestions on how we could possibly have them change the law (please email me if you have other ideas):

1- Talk to the parliament members, whether you voted for them or against them, whether you believe in voting or not, talk to them, they legally represent the whole nation, Kuwaiti and non Kuwaiti, individual or an organization. CALL THEM. WRITE TO THEM! http://www.kna.kw/clt/index.asp (the site is getting more interactive, ask for their numbers, or email me I have some)

2- Call or write to the municipality http://www.baladia.gov.kw/cbox/

3- Protest, write or sign a petition, ask for a decree (its way more efficient and faster than a law)

Sometimes a situation must happen for a new decree, law or bylaw to be enforced or issues. Let this be one.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.

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31 comments, add your own...

  1. gabry says:

    And we need to pay fine in rup
    ees? or was this law written when kuwait used indian currency?

  2. Caesar says:

    well articulated and illustrated. The fundamental problem is that animals (especially dogs) are looked at as dirty and “najjass” and so whatever rights we manage to salvage for them will be trivial.

    It is not a matter of law, but one of cultural norms.

  3. sara says:

    There already is a petition online – http://www.change.org/petitions/animal-rights-rescue-groups-mass-stray-dogs-murder-in-kuwait?utm_campaign=friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=permissions_dialog_false

    Is this the first time something like this has happened in Kuwait?

    If people are concerned about animal welfare you should look at the issue of live export which has been under global scrutiny for a while now.

  4. Maged says:

    looks like a dormant law as the amount is in rupees

  5. Areej Sultan Al-Essa says:

    Please advise why the currency is in Rupees?

    • Maz says:

      Most laws were created before the Dinar was an official currency; back when Kuwait used to trade in rupees. I’m almost certain this law is included.

    • mentabolism says:

      The Indian Rupee was the official currency in Kuwait and some Gulf and other countries. In 1959 the Gulf Rupee was introduced by the Indian Government, so that the Indian Rupee was used only in India. By 1961, Kuwait replaced it with the Kuwaiti Dinar. Other countries followed later on. These laws as Maz explained must have been formulated before 1961

  6. Maz says:

    Thank you for the post. Very informational. Hopefully we will see a change in that regard in the short future.

  7. suggestion says:

    Fajer can you start up a petition on animal rights in Kuwait and ask volunteers to get people to sign it. they can take it to places like the avenues where you can get a lot of signatures.

    • Zena says:

      @Suggestion: there is already a petition. The 5,000 target is almost reached. We need 615 people left. Click on the link below and it will direct you to the petition:


    • Strumming says:

      Fajer has already taken the time out to make us aware of this. Whats wrong with humans? This is a classic ‘when offered a finger, grab the arm’

      Why don’t you implement the good idea and “start up a petition on animal rights in Kuwait and ask volunteers to get people to sign it. they can take it to places like the avenues where you can get a lot of signatures”? What are the rest of us doing? Its not difficult being a keyboard warrior.
      Don’t forget the probability that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

  8. Desert Girl says:

    Thank you for taking the initiative to post about this. I hope that more law makers and legal professionals will step up as well.

    In the late ’90’s, there was a man here in Kuwait (Mangaf, I believe) who kept animals in his apartment to torture for fun. The noise was such that the neighbors repeatedly called the police. They found the animals in horrific condition. The man was sent to the psychiatric hospital.

    In the recent cases of animal tortures/killings, I believe the responsible individuals should also be psychologically evaluated to determine of they are a threat to society. Studies have shown that sadistic behavior often starts with the torture of animals and escalates to torture/deviant behavior towards humans.

  9. Claire says:

    Try looking at the Quran and hadiths. There are plenty of rules there forbidding cruelty to any animal being mistreated, used for target, starved, beaten, overworked etc. use the religious texts to influence the states laws.

  10. Wishbone says:

    When the law was implemented, as some have stated, it was during the time Rupees were used as currency.

    2000 Rupees back then was a lot. We’re talking whats worth a few thousand KD now.

  11. Mh says:

    I have been attacked by dogs in Shuwaikh While riding my motorcycle after 2am TWICE! by TWO Different Packs of dogs.. aggressive and medium to big size. another friend was attacked but the dogs couldn’t get inside his car. con some serious scratches on his car. so what would happen if they got to me while on my motorcycle? or him if he didn’t rush to his car?
    what about the little girl who were ripped by the dogs in Khairan?
    now what do you say about that? shouldn’t this be controlled somehow?..

    Yes there must be a Control to decide whether a dog should be put to sleep, put for adoption or killed onsite.

    I am a Dog owner and I love my dogs but there has to be a strict control on dogs out there on the loose.

    • sara says:

      @Mh and how would you feel about the issue if one of your dogs got loose and was butchered by these psychopaths in the name of revenge?

      there are absolutely other methods of control which a couple of organisations are trying to implement but they don’t have the support or resources to get it completely under control.

      obviously a dog will become aggressive and defensive if it is mistreated repeatedly by humans. this is the fault of the people not the dogs.

      this needs to start with education. it seems like people here have no idea about animal care even when they are pet owners themselves. a teacher friend of mine was telling me about a young student of hers who’s parents killed her pet rabbit by leaving out to bake on the balcony with no food or water because they didn’t want it in the house that day. why get it in the first place? absolutely zero common sense.

      • Desert Girl says:

        Hadith about a cat left to starve to death in a cage by a woman who was a devout Muslim. When she died, she went to Hell for that single act of cruelty. Sounds like the rabbit killers are headed in the same direction.

    • Desert Girl says:

      Did you have hamburger in your pockets? :)

      Seriously, there needs to be a compassionate/humane animal control system implemented in Kuwait.

      What would happen if one of these vigilante’s stray bullets hit and killed a child? I believe action should be taken by the Government, not left to individuals to determine (but hey, wait a minute – isn’t that why most countries actually have governments? Hmmmm….)

  12. Fajer,

    Can you enlighten us on laws that might apply to the people shooting these dogs? What about hunting laws, endangering public safety, discharge of a firearm in a public place, misuse of a firearm permit, etc? We have found in the past that if we can submit evidence along with citing the applicable law, we can sometimes find a police station willing to act.

    Thank you.

  13. neoark25 says:

    funny fact about koreans in kuwait, they eat dogs.

  14. Sam56 says:

    It’s culling of rabid dogs! No more, no less. Get over it already.
    They’re doing us a favour. I wish something could be done about the cat problems in Kuwait.. They’re like rats! They’re probably 1 cat for every kuwaiti in Kuwait!
    The government gave up this battle along time ago.. That’s why they’re so many rabid dogs and cars in Kuwait’s streets.
    Nothing will change.

  15. Direct says:

    Should you first talk about human rights on Kuwait before thinking of pets?!!!!!

  16. Kuwait 61 says:

    I think animal rights is important but educating people on this issue is even more important ,because as a society we know that hurting animals is unacceptable . Criminalizing it will only promote indivadils on hiding there abuse. Most people know that hurting a defianceless creatures will result in punishment in this life and the next and that I think will give people the motivation that will kick start a movement of social change without including the government .

  17. Cicamica says:

    I’m on this site because I’m looking for some kind of law on animal cruelty. I hate to go outside to see the terrible things what happens to cats and dogs on the streets of Kuwait. What can I do to stop it? I feel helpless.!!!!my two sons were feeding a small cat around our house everyday, yesterday we come to find out the kitten died because some other kid throw it out from the 18th floor staircase.what is wrong with people? When I try to talk to the mother of the kid, the only thing what she was asking if the cat was mine? What is the difference?its ok to do it if it’s a stray cat? Why??????? Ihow can anyone be so heartless and cruel?

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