FILE – stray dog sleeping in street – Pixabay
CAIRO – 29 October 2018: MP Mohamed Abu Hamed said that poisoning dogs in Egypt or shooting them is unconstitutional, adding that article 45 of the constitution stipulates that the state is committed to keeping animal welfare.
In an interview with DMC on Sunday, Oct. 28, Abu Hamed said that animal welfare is a constitutional entitlement and is not optional, adding that a Harvard University researcher designated Egypt as one of the few countries respecting animal rights.
Mohamed Salmawi, the spokesman of the constitutional committee formed in 2013 to amend the Egyptian constitution, said that one of the university's researchers stated that Egypt and other few states, including Australia, Germany and India, have preserved animals' rights in their constitutions.
Hamed Abdel Dayem, spokesman of the Ministry of Agriculture, highlighted the efforts of the ministry, in coordination with the General Organization for Veterinary Services, to rid citizens of stray dogs based on the complaints submitted by people.
He said in an interview with DMC, that the ministry moves to kill dogs, only upon receiving complaints from citizens.
He explained that animal welfare associations have no systematic solutions to eliminate stray dogs, stressing the ministry's readiness to cooperate with these associations to develop radical solutions to the problem.
Abdel Dayem asserted that the ministry obtained a fatwa (Islamic opinion) from Al-Azhar, allowing killing stray dogs that intimidate citizens, whether through barking or biting.
For her part, animal rights activist Mona Khalil commented on the Azhar's fatwa, saying it is unfair to kill all stray dogs assuming that all dogs in the streets are dangerous.
Khalil added that ministries and concerned authorities have been called on since 2000 to remove garbage in the streets, which causes the spread of dogs.
A report by Egypt's General Organization for Veterinary Services revealed that a total of 1.392 million people have been bitten by stray dogs from 2014 to 2017.