Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak orders report on street dog shooting & poisoning
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2007:
CAIRO–Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak has asked the
Ministry of Agriculture to “prepare a report about stray dogs in
Egypt, and to open an investigation into reports published by
various press and animal welfare organizations who have been appalled
by the practice of shooting and poisoning dogs,” the Al Masry-Al
Youm newspaper reported on May 19, 2007.
Unnamed Ministry of Agriculture sources reportedly told Al
Masry-Al Youm that Mubarak “called for applying humane international
measures in dealing with stray animals, instead of shooting and
poisoning, which detracts from Egypt’s status as a land of culture
and center of tourism.”
Said Al Masry-Al Youm, “It is expected that the Egyptian
Minister of Agriculture would issue strict instructions to the
Veterinary Authority and police to apply humane methods such as
vaccination for rabies control, instead of shooting and poisoning.”
Mubarak responded, according to Al Masry-Al Youm, after
another Egyptian newspaper, Al-Akhbar, reported that the Veterinary
Authority had delegated personnel to exterminate the thousands of
dogs and cats who roam the streets of Giza, location of the Great
Pyramids and the Sphinx.
Ten veterinary teams were reportedly to be dispatched daily
with 10 kilograms of strychnine each to kill dogs, plus an
undisclosed amount of the insecticide Temic, to kill cats. Al-Akhbar
explained that the poisons would be placed in baits and distributed
in places where dogs and cats congregate.
The Al-Akhbar report prompted protest from Egyptian animal
advocates, spreading internationally as word of it hit the Internet.
The killing was already underway.
Society for the Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt
president Amina Abaza on May 11, 2007 e-mailed to ANIMAL PEOPLE
photographs of a pregnant street dog who took 15 minutes to die after
being shot in the belly on Pyramids Road.
Circa May 13, dog rescuer Andrea Adler recounted, SPARE
member Mona Khalil “brought my attention to a recent front page
newspaper article by the Egyptian Minister of Health, ordering a
massive and aggressive killing project for stray dogs. We knew we
had to act immediately,” Adler said, but “Trying to coordinate our
efforts, time and talents, we fell one day short.
“On the morning of May 14,” Adler continued, her sterilized
and vaccinated street dog friends Black Jack and Bandit “were shot
and killed right in front of my building.”
Dogs and cats were already among the frequent collateral
casualties of aggressive rat and insect poisoning.
“Poisons have been used around all El Gouna,” wrote
Australian citizen Keti Sharif, who said she had lived there for
five years. “The council denies placing poisons at the marina,
where my dog ate a cheese bait containing rat poison and almost died,
yet residents have seen workers in orange uniforms placing poison
from buckets with industrial gloves into the cracks between rocks in
the marina between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m.”
One day after the council denial, Sharif recounted, a
neighbor’s dog of six years died from ingesting strychnine.
Sharif said that as of May 9, her veterinarian had treated
nine poisoned pet dogs in less than a month, of whom five died.
“Where workers washed out buckets of pesticide in the lagoon,
after gardening, the next day fish in the area were all dead,”
Sharif continued. Sharif attributed the El Gouna dog poisonings to a
combination of carelessness and antipathy toward dogs. The mayor,
she alleged, “is a well known dog hater.”
Said Khalil, “What international organizations can do now is
to express their condemnation and protest against what is happening
to the official authorities. We need to keep the pressure up.
International organizations have expressed readiness to help with
neuter/return programs, but are concerned that the government might
later kill the animals, regardless of their being neutered. Now is
the chance,” Khalil opined, “to offer the Egyptian government a
plan for such a program that could be made official by legal
“If we do not invest in this now, and international
organizations do not offer us assistance,” Khalil said, “there may
be no more chances for strays.”