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Back to Regulations Concerning the Private Possession of Big Cats

Lebanon does not have specific laws regulating private possession of animals.

Ownership of animals, including big cats such as lions, tigers, and cheetahs, and the responsibilities of owners concerning any acts of such animals, are basically subject to the general provisions of the Law on Obligations and Contracts and the relevant provisions of the Penal Code.

The only direct references to animals in environmental legislative instruments were identified as follows:

  • Article 2(4) of Law No. 216 of 1993[1] concerning the establishment of the Ministry of Environment, which gives the Ministry the authority to regulate animal farms;
  • Article 2(7) of the same Law, which gives the Ministry the authority to determine the types of animals and birds allowed to be hunted and those to be protected for fear of extinction;
  • Law No. 580 of 2004 regulating hunting on land;[2]
  • Ministerial Decree No. 16/1 of 2001 concerning the issuance of permits to create or exploit cow farms and/or domesticated birds farms;[3]

However, none of these instruments are specifically related to the keeping of big cats such as tigers, whether in zoos or private residences, or for breeding purposes.

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Issam Saliba
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
June 2013