Egyptian Parliament Calls for a Committee to Deal With the Issue of Street Dogs
By Muhammed Aladdin
The Local Administration Committee in the Egyptian Parliament has recommended the formation of a special committee to deal with the issue of stray dogs in Egypt’s streets.
The aforementioned committee will be headed by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mona Mehrez, and is going to include a number of representatives from the Ministries of Local Development, Environment, Health, Agriculture, and Interior.
Head of the Local Administration Committee, MP Ahmed El Sigini, has told the press that the specialized committee will have a number of representatives from animal welfare groups and human rights organizations as well. He continued his statement adding that this body will be formed within the upcoming 45 days.
El Sigini stated that stray dogs are a “danger” to public health and a “threat to the lives of many citizens, in particular, children”. While Alaa Eid, the Head of the Ministry’s Preventive Medicine Department said, “Many as 303,000 citizens were bitten by stray and wild dogs in 2018.” He continued on saying that the Ministry has the necessary vaccination to treat the patients, however, it has no control over the issue.
Fortunately, the sound voice of the Egyptian Environment, Minister Yasmine Fouad, suggested following the example of Western countries and adopting strict regulations to limit the breeding of Baladi dogs.
The news brought about mixed feelings, as many of those who care about the so-called “stray dogs” are worried about the methods that would be used to curb their existence on the streets. Local officials have been infamously-known for poisoning helpless canines. However, we hope that the presence of representatives from animal care societies will help the specialized committee make the right decision.
Indeed, when unvaccinated and unneutered, Baladi dogs could pose serious health considerations. However, what many Egyptians should know is that by nature, dogs are not violent, and a viscous Baladi dog is an abused one resorting to the only method of self-defense against the abuse of humans.