For years, Egypt has exported gas, cotton and many other things to countries abroad, but have stray animals become of the many goods that get exported?
According to Middle East Eye, the Egyptian agriculture ministry confirmed last Wednesday that it had recently licensed the export of 4,100 cats and dogs to a number of countries. The news has been met with grave concern by animal rights activists, who say they are worried that the creatures will be sent to countries where they may be eaten and mistreated.
However, yesterday, Egyptian Minister of Agriculture’s spokesman denied the alleged fact that Egypt has started exporting dogs or cats.
Hamed Abdul-Dayem told DMC’s talk show “Masaa DMC” that the ministry gives approvals for individuals to export dogs abroad, and that there is nothing according to Egyptian or international laws that would prevent this. He added that such approvals don’t include the name of the importing country or the reason behind exporting, because the exporters often do not specify the countries they are exporting to, and this is indeed the case for this shipment whose destination is as of yet obscure.
It is noted that in early October, MP Margaret Azar, human’s rights committee’s deputy in the parliament, had proposed that Egypt should solve its stray animal problem by exporting them to countries that consume them for food. (Check: A Parliament Member Suggested Exporting Dogs To Korea)
In an interview with Ahram Online, Azar said that this is an alternative to “shooting dogs dead or castrating them.”, adding that the animals would be housed in farms to receive healthy nutrition prior to their slaughter.
On the other hand, MP Mona Mounir said that exporting dogs and cats is against all customs and religions, pointing out that the decision may have a negative impact on tourism and Egypt’s image abroad. She explained that some foreigners sent letters requesting the trial of the Egyptian government because of this decision.
In addition, Mounir noted that the decision was unconstitutional; since the law works to protect such vulnerable animals, and announced her intention to request for a briefing to the Minister of Agriculture regarding this issue.
Animal rights’ advocate and head of the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA), Mona Khalil, was one of many who found the idea of exporting stray animals unacceptable. She even highlighted that countries that eat dog meat are actually criticized internationally.
According to Al Watan newspaper, Egypt has at least 22 million stray dogs, that are subjected to violence by locals. Also, suggested solutions to get rid of them often lead to the revisiting the idea of the execution of these stray animals.
It’s also notable to mention that in 2017, Egypt’s Red Sea governor Ahmed Abdullah announced a financial reward for those who capture stray dogs and deliver them to the government’s veterinary authority for neutering. What happened to that?
No further has been revealed by the Ministry and we are not sure, should we worry?