Egyptian animal welfare societies and activists are calling for a protest this Saturday outside the Cairo Zoo in Giza. According to animal rights activists Egypt has become a hub for international illegal trade in wildlife. We’ve reported earlier about the horses in Egypt (horses are the silent victims of Egypt’s revolution), and the dolphins being kept as “pets” in a Sinai swimming pool, and now the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA) and other groups and individuals are organizing to give a voice to those who can’t speak.
According to Mona Khalil, ESMA co-founder,“The way Egypt treats animals is a shame. The Giza zoo is a national disgrace, Egypt has become known as a hub of the international illegal trade in wildlife, and the municipal policy of controlling street animal populations by shooting and poisoning is deplorable.
“Pet breeding and pet shops are part of an unregulated and illegitimate industry in which humans exploit animals for commercial gain, yet do not pay taxes or benefit the Egyptian economy.
“At the root of all this is a not only systemic corruption but also policy failure, as Egypt is lacking even the basic animal welfare legislation that would enable the prosecution of violators. Some will say that now is not the time to ask for animal’s rights, when human rights are still being violated. But actually there is no better time, as Egypt is trying to build a more just and humane society for all its inhabitants.”
What the animal activists demand
The protestors will have demands. First they will demand an investigation into corruption in the Ministry of Agriculture’s General Organization for Veterinary Services and mismanagement of the Giza Zoo. They will also call for an investigation into the corruption in the Ministry of Agriculture staff and vets at Egypt’s ports and airports.
They will demand that the new Egyptian government stop the widespread practice of shooting and poisoning street animals to reduce their population, calling for the adoption of more humane population control policies such as Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release, which has been successfully implemented in other developing countries such as India.
In addition, protestors are demanding that the pet breeding and pet shops industries be regulated and forced to adhere to a guideline for basic animal welfare standards, including proper humane treatment and veterinary care of breeding animals, and acceptable housing conditions.
Finally, they will also ask for more humane standards for the slaughtering of livestock.
Without laws being passed, there are no legal consequences for animal cruelty and mistreatment, so animal welfare policy and legislation are critical, the organizers say.
For more on Animals Rights issues in Egypt see:
Egyptian Park Authorities Killed Wrong Sharks After Red Sea Attacks
Governor Bans Recreational Fishing In Southern Sinai
Egyptian Activists Claim Eid Animal Slaughter Is Haram