The lack of animals rights in the Middle East is an issue we have discussed here at Green Prophet. We reported on the horses left to die during the revolution in Egypt, the poor treatment of Lions in an Iranian zoo and the murky business of shark finning in the Middle East. However, the way in which stray dogs are dealt with in Lebanon is truly shocking. Joseph Mayton on Bikya Masr reported that just this week, police officers went into a Beirut neighbourhood and shot dead a dozen stray dogs, leaving them on the streets for all to see.
Apparently, Lebanon has a history of shooting stray dogs as its preferred method for controlling the animal rather than supporting neuter and spay initiatives. According to eyewitness reports, a vaccinated puppy was shot dead in front of its mother and the officers failed to protect locals from the carnage they left behind.
“Lebanon Does Not Need Any More Killing”
“We feel the mass killing of dogs – likely by poisoning or shooting – is completely against the recommendation of the OIE [World Organisation for Animal Health], against all science about how to control the number of stray dogs, and will not solve any problems,” Animals Lebanon, an animal rights organisation, said in an emailed statement to Bikya Masr. They explained that the presence of the stray dogs was due in part to the governments inaction and that a long-term solution needs to consider more humane control methods such as neutering and spaying.
Animals Lebanon added that it hoped to work with the government to enable a new draft law to help protect animals like the stray dogs. The organisation told Bikya Masr “[We] would welcome cooperation with Mayor of Mount Lebanon to implement a program that can provide long term solutions instead of repeated mass killing that result in significant suffering. Lebanon does not need more killing.”
Hyena rescued from horrendous conditions
In fact, Animals Lebanon has worked successfully with the relevant governmental departments of Lebanon to rescue animals in the past. Under a month ago, the organisation working with the Ministry of Environment, managed to rescue an abused hyena from a small “pet shop” in south Lebanon. The hyena had been caught in the wild and kept in a tiny cage with barely enough room to move for four years- it also suffered from a broken jaw. You can watch the rescue in the following video:
“We are pleased that both Ministers took the plight of this hyena and the conservation of Lebanese wildlife so seriously,” said Lana El Khalil, President of Animals Lebanon. “The condition this animal was kept in was completely inadequate, she was being kept in a cage barely big enough for her to turn around, there was a large amount of trash inside the cage that had piled up over the years, and her jaw had been broken at some point and never properly treated.”
This case indicates that animals rights organisations and governmental departments can work together to exact positive change and improve the lives of animals. Let’s hope that they can work together again to end the barbaric practice of shooting down animals in the streets.
: Image via Animals Lebanon
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