Controversy Erupts As Egypt Bans Select Dog Breeds To Increase Public Safety

The Egyptian government issued a law that has caught dog lovers off guard and has stirred controversy. The law bans several dog breeds, following a tragic incident in February involving a famous TV chef’s pit bull. A man in a residential complex was mauled by his neighbor’s pit bull after complaining numerous times that his family did not feel safe around it. He was rushed to a nearby hospital with severe injuries, and was given anesthesia which led to his coma. Later the man was pronounced dead due to the administration of the anesthesia. This event had a profound impact on the nation, leading to public calls for strict regulations to prevent future tragedies.

In late May, the government announced a law that regulates the ownership of dangerous animals, categorized as hazardous, alongside wild animals, venomous insects, and reptiles. Only ten dog breeds, such as the Cocker Spaniel, Labrador, and Poodle, are allowed without a safety inspection. Tough regulations will be imposed on breeds like Pit Bull’s and Rottweiler’s to undergo a rigorous government safety licensing process.

Pet owners will also pay a fee of up to 50,000 EGP to Egypt’s General Organization for Veterinary Services as part of the registration process. However, Mona Khalil, chair of the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals, expressed concern about the lack of consultation with animal advocacy organizations and the seemingly arbitrary list of banned breeds. She likens the new law to “prohibiting people from driving cars because of a car accident.” Khalil highlighted discrepancies in the list, arguing that it demonstrates a misunderstanding of dog breeds and their actual aggression levels by the law’s drafters.

Public opinion is divided, with some advocating for tougher regulations and others calling for regulations on how owners train their dogs. Meanwhile, dog attacks have been on the rise, In 2019, Egypt’s Health and Population Ministry reported 6,241 cases of people being hospitalized following dog attacks in just four months. The situation highlights the ongoing challenge of balancing public safety with animal welfare, and the need for thoughtful and inclusive policy-making.

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