A helpless dog is tied to the car and dragged along the rough gravel of a Cairo road by an unidentified person. Captured on film, the dog’s lifeless body is seen dragged at high speeds by the individual in an old Mercedes.
This is the second brutal incident of animal abuse captured on film within just two weeks. While the ESMA has discovered the dog was already dead, and that the body was merely being transported to a place for dumping, the incident highlights a lack of understanding of animal rights. Last week, Max was the latest of many other victims of the utter ruthlessness of many in Egypt’s society against animals.
While people on the street watched and some cheered on, Max was stabbed, slaughtered and then bludgeoned to death with a metal pole by three men.
Last week, a horrific video went viral on social media platforms. The video portraying the brutal killing of Max in the middle of Cairo streets sent shock waves around the globe and in the country – the viciousness in which those three assailants murdered, in cold blood, a helpless dog that was tied up shed light as to how much our society disregards animal life.
Animal rights activists in Egypt were not the only ones that were enraged and disgusted by the horrific video, but some good samaritans in the general public were also moved into action. After many reported the incident to the police, the three assailants were identified and are now arrested, awaiting to face trial.
However, according to article 357 in the Penal Code, a person responsible for the death of animal with no “just” cause could face up to six months in prison or a 200 LE ($US 25) fine. That’s it. That’s what an animal’s life is worth in Egypt. Let that sink in for a minute.
Activists and non-activists joined hands in a stand of solidarity during a protest addressing violence towards animals. The protest was not only aimed to shed light into the severity of animal abuse in Egypt but the inevitable ending it leads to. According to the American Psychiatric Association, animal cruelty is a guaranteed pathway to violence towards people – which is not a surprise to anyone living in this country, especially women.
It is inevitable and it’s happening and we’re fining people 200 LE for it. That is less than what you would pay for a bottle of alcohol.
While I applaud the judicial system for attempting to recognize animal rights in this country, I do not believe that a government that continues to poison and shoot stray animals has much credibility. The rights of other living species needs to be, not only recognized and addressed, but it also needs to be respected by the government and those working for the government. How about building shelters instead? Or supporting the ones that are ready there?
Also, a prison sentence of six months or a 200 LE fine is an inadequate punishment for those who to torture and kill needlessly. A harsher punishment must be included in our constitution to prevent the needless suffering of helpless animals.
The public also has an obligation to stop the cruel acts that are done on day to day basis. When you face a neighbour that wants to poison the kittens in the stairwell or a doorman kicking puppies away, stop them. Educate them and speak to them. Instead of just feeling bad about it, enlighten them and voice your views against injustice and cruelty towards other living beings.
Lastly, multiple studies that were done by the American Psychiatric Association show that cruelty towards animals is not inherent but it is learned. Therefore, if a child grows up in a society where animals are viewed as a mere waste of space and it is okay to hurt them, they will grow up to dismiss their needs and actively participate in cruelty towards them.
It is our responsibility, as Egyptians and citizens of this country, to actively seek harsher punishment for those who violate the rights of animals and it is also our responsibility to educate our youth about animal rights and compassion towards those who are not of the same species that we are.