Stray dogs an increasing problem for Egyptians

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Stray dogs an increasing problem for Egyptians

Post by DJKeefy »

Millions of stray dogs pose growing urban challenge in Egypt as animal rights advocates often lambast government, accusing it of mass culls.

Alaa Hilal was out shopping in Cairo when she was attacked by a stray dog in broad daylight - an increasing problem of daily life in Egypt which is stirring debate.

"I got out of my car and saw an exceptionally large street dog," the 38-year-old housewife said at her home, northeast of Cairo.

"He approached me and bit me without barking or doing anything else," said Hilal, adding that she had been injured in the thigh.

An overpopulated mega-city of more than 20 million people, Cairo is already plagued by monster traffic jams, widespread waste problems and rampant pollution. Packs of stray dogs are only adding to the city's challenges.

Complaints about dog attacks, exposure to rabies and in some cases even deaths over the years have triggered calls for the animals to be brought under control.


Hounds unleashed

Commonly referred to as "baladi dogs", strays are widely viewed as unsanitary and dirty. They are typically seen running around the streets and scavenging garbage for food.

According to the agriculture ministry, there were around 400,000 cases of dog bites in 2017, up from 300,000 in 2014.

And 231 people died over the past four years from the wounds they received, mainly as a result of rabies.

A bite from a dog carrying the rabies virus can be fatal within 24 hours as it damages the human's nervous system, said Shehab Abdel-Hamid, the head of Egypt's society for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCA).

Hilal, who had never feared dogs having had several pets when growing up, was rushed to a nearby hospital only to discover that she was the ninth person to be bitten by the same dog.

"Due to the trauma caused by this incident, I became worried and I no longer want to be in the same place with them," she said.

There are no official data on the numbers of stray dogs, but activists say they are running loose in their millions.

A survey by the SPCA showed that the number of stray dogs "may reach up to more than 15 million", Abdel-Hamid said.

And though street dogs appear to fear the most crowded areas, they can be loud and aggressive in poorly lit and rubbish-strewn suburbs.

In November, a video widely circulated on social media showed a car hitting a teenager who was being chased by two stray dogs.

"Garbage is the main reason behind the stray dogs' crisis in Egypt," said Abdel-Hamid, highlighting how the problem was exacerbated when the rubbish men stopped working during the 2011 uprising.

Government mauled

The SPCA, however, lacks resources. Its headquarters in downtown Cairo was looted during the uprising and has not been renovated since, Abdel-Hamid added.

And Egyptian authorities say they can only intervene on a case by case basis.

"We do not go around the streets looking for dogs to kill them," said the agriculture ministry spokesman Hamed Abdel-Dayem. "We only take measures following complaints."

He didn't specify what measures are taken to bring the stray dog population under control.

But animal rights advocates often lambast the government, accusing it of mass culls.

In 2017, authorities killed more than 17,000 stray dogs following multiple complaints of dog "disturbances" and "biting" in Beni Sueif, south of Cairo, according to an August report by the governorate's veterinary directorate.

The Red Sea governor even offered a 100 Egyptian pounds ($5.58) award to those who capture and hand over at least five strays.

Animal rights defenders also accuse the government of killing dogs using a drug, known as "strychnine", a chemical substance listed as "unacceptable on animal welfare grounds" for euthanasia by the World Organisation for Animal Health.

But Abdel-Dayem denied that the government imported banned substances.

"Is it logical that we (the ministry) allow internationally prohibited substances to enter the country?" he said when asked about the strychnine claim.

'Shelter of Hope'

Animal rights advocates have sought to offer solutions, actively removing dogs from the streets and giving them homes.

Ahmed al-Shorbagi, 35, opened two dog shelters in a desert area west of Cairo, near the famed Giza pyramids.

The buildings with sheer concrete walls have kept more than 250 dogs safe for the past three years. Shorbagi contributes 40 percent to the funding of the shelters while the rest comes from donations.

"At first I followed the animal rescue pages on Facebook," Shorbagi said, rubbing one dog's belly as she wagged her tail in joy.

"I saved a dog that I called 'Hope' and when I opened the shelter, I named it after her."

Shorbagi believes the solution lies in dog sterilisation programmes, providing rabies vaccinations and removing the garbage.

"Instead of the government paying millions of dollars to import poison, it should consider sterilisation," he said.

"We, as associations, proposed to the ministry of agriculture to solve the problem but it refused."

The ministry's spokesman denied however refusing to cooperate with private entities and hailed their work to help resolve the crisis.

Source: ... -egyptians


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Re: Stray dogs an increasing problem for Egyptians

Post by Who2 »

Once upon a time Egyptians were terrified of dogs as they are of rain.
These Days they love them, for security, every shop sells 50 kilo bags of dog biscuits, and....'made in Egypt.
I know a lot about feral dogs having lived in Mokattam, 17 strong packs of small dogs trapping & eating small children.
Up there they used a silenced 22 & shot them in their heads as they reclined in the sun, they never knew they had 'ascended......

Now, me and my mate our 'local copper are on the case of our feral dogs, it's called 'sim & that cheap brazilian meat.
In the last month local kids have asked me to buy them 6 x dog collars for their puppies.

Our dogs Max 'ex police sniffer dog (rtd) & Baboos his apprentice, chew on 'adam (bones) during the day, evening meal consists
of biscuits, offal, bones & vitamins, they love biting people, 'good Dogs!...... 8)
Ps: For a laughing Policeman....
Pss: They poison all the feral dogs on the Luxor Marathon route a day before the event!
"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"

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Re: Stray dogs an increasing problem for Egyptians

Post by Dusak »

Karnak used to have a big problem with wild dogs the largest pack some ten years ago was twenty. The police used to come around at regular intervals and lay down poisoned meat. Two days ago I saw the first pack of dogs in about seven years here in karnak, nine in number and all big breeds, all very angry and vicious sounding as I fed the street cats outside my door. Stood guard over them with the sweeping brush until they had fed. At least they had safe refuge under the parked cars.
Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.

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Re: Stray dogs an increasing problem for Egyptians

Post by Mad Dilys »

Remove their source of food - rubbish - with a twofold result. Dogs move out, the health of people is better.

Unfortunately people forget that Rabies not only kills people it kills almost anything the dog bites. So if the dog fights with it's fellow pack members they will die too after infecting something else. Once the disease takes hold the dog may seek seclusion and bite anything in it's way including sheep, goats donkeys and cows.
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Re: Stray dogs an increasing problem for Egyptians

Post by carrie »

What I can't understand is people feeding feral animals, this leads to them breeding larger litters and the majority of the young dying. Much better they catch the animals and spend their money having them spayed or castrated.
We have a few dogs near me that roam freely, whilst I don't feed them I do give them a pat and a little affection. Poor things my friends for life.

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Re: Stray dogs an increasing problem for Egyptians

Post by Dusak »

Totally agree with you carrie. I never fed the stray cats, they did what all stray cats do, forage for themselves. I am now stuck with up to 15 of them. If I do not feed them [I don't supply the food] then I have to try and ignore the fighting, spitting, hissing and screeching that they go through if not fed, directly outside my front door which continually stinks of cat ****. But this is Egypt, they turn a blind eye to FGM, but refuse to humanly put down unwanted cats and dogs because of religious beliefs.Its ok though if its a pig, you can kill over 1000,000 of them by using any method their one sided minds can create if its suggested that a sneeze is their fault.
Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.

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