Last week, Lebanese president Michel Aoun passed the country’s first animal welfare law. The legislature was the result of several years of lobbying by animal-rights nonprofit Animals Lebanon. “With this law, Lebanon’s regulations are as strict, if not stricter, than other laws in the region,” Animals Lebanon Executive Director Jason Mier told media outlet Agence France-Presse. The law sets forth penalties—up to four months in prison and fines up to LL100 million ($66,000)—for mistreating both companion and wild animals used for entertainment in zoos and circuses. The law also bans keeping wild or endangered animals as companions—a move that could disrupt the massive rare-animal trade currently happening in Lebanon. “We do not expect to see any improvements next week or next month,” Mier said. “But now we have the tools, and we have a path.”
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