Egyptian Member of Parliament Submits Amendments to Penalize Animal Abuse
Caroline Maher, Member of the Egyptian Parliament, presented a draft amendment in committee to the Penal Code number 58 of 1973 to extend all crimes of violence, transgression, or use of violence to encompass all animal species. If passed, the amendment would penalize violence against any stray animals on the street as well as wild species in nature.
According to Egyptian Streets, Maher said that “all religions have recognized the necessity of preserving the lives of all creatures and imposed moral codes prohibiting all forms of animal abuse, yet with the current legislative gaps, the phenomenon of animal abuse has become a habit practiced by some citizens without legal deterrence.”
Maher continued to clarify how people and officials alike resort to poison to put an end to the lives of thousands of helpless cats and dogs roaming the streets each year; she has added that some governorates go as far as publishing pictures of the deceased animals on social media.
The current articles of the law do not include strict punishments or fines to those who commit violence against animals but with her amendments, penalties will be applied in proportion to the crime.
Three new articles will be added to the law entailing the criminalization of conducting experiments on animals without obtaining proper licensing, organizing wrestling between animals to achieve a material return, and the shooting and spreading of videos showing violence against animals.
These amendments are necessary since our current law does not protect the rights of stray animals to exist. In fact, Article 357 in the Egyptian Penal Law was added in 1982, which criminalized killing or abusing domesticated animals, but unfortunately, it did not specifically mention harming or killing of stray animals, and because of this loop, many have committed crimes that have gone unpunished.
Perhaps, these amendments will be the first step towards an animal welfare law, which will ensure each stray animal gets the right to live in peace.
This step by MP Maher shows a shift in attitude when it comes to dealing with street animals in the Egyptian Parliament, as in March of 2019, an MP suggested establishing a special committee to put an end to the ‘threat’ of stray dogs on public health and individuals.