Not only humans suffer in Egypt, but the recent incidents of murder and torture of stray and pet animals by individuals and governmental agencies have also been repeated. The new, shocking news this time is the disclosure of incidents of sexual abuse of some animals. Every time the shocking news of the horrific killings and torture is reported, or video clips of an animal torture process are circulated, appeals are made for the necessity of tougher penalties and the enactment of deterrent laws that protect animal’s rights.
A few days ago, MSC Animal Rights revealed that it had received several reports stating that several animals including dogs and cattle had been raped by people. She explained that the attacks resulted in severe injuries and wounds, as the association received some of the assaulted dogs and placed them under intensive medical care. Mira Jamal, director of the association, said that the dogs that were received in this case had a laceration in their intestines as a result of the abuse, stressing that these violations are a dangerous indicator that threatens the entire community and represents a strong warning sign of a state of societal violence. Mira stated that these violations are a continuation of the series of violations that affect Egypt’s animals, especially dogs, through violations related to torture and neglect, until it reached this alarming stage, which is a serious indication of the escalation of the phenomenon of societal violence against animals, according to her statements.
Mira added that the exposure of animals to sexual assaults raises fears of human assaults that may affect children and adults as well, and this threatens societal peace. She said that the incident opens the way for the need to pass strict legislation to address such inhuman violence, which violates all divine laws and international norms and covenants that protect animal rights. She stressed that it has become necessary to tighten the penalties for animal abuse with new legislation, which is something that the next parliament must take into account. Mira indicated that the current penalties in the penal code are simple and insufficient to eliminate these phenomena.
Stray and pet animals are subjected to bloody and hideous attacks in Egypt from time to time, as the video clips circulating on social media reveal. In 2017, distress spread regarding animal welfare on social media after the poisoning of stray dogs in al-Rehab City. This incident was preceded by a massacre of stray cats in the Al-Jazira Club, where the club officials decided to use poison to get rid of all the cats in the club, which, from their viewpoint, are annoying to its members.
At the time, various media outlets announced that the poison used was an internationally prohibited poison. The matter got worst was after the massacre, as pictures of a group of unknown people were spreading via social media videos of them slaughtering cats and skinning them. After each such shocking incident, observers and activists demand that the penalties be increased in Egyptian law to protect the rights of animals while the government poisoned dogs and killed them in the streets.
For his part, Abdel Rahman Youssef, head of the Egyptian Association for Animal Saving, said that recent violent incidents against animals have increased, and some citizens’ behaviour towards animals tends to be violent and bloody. He explained in a press statement that the issue has gone beyond its limit, and despite measures taken against those who torture an animal, what is being uncovered about crimes against animals does not represent one per cent of the total number of violations.
The head of the Egyptian Society for Animal Rescue adds that most of the crimes for which the perpetrator is punished are those that are published on social media due to the difficulty of monitoring all violations. He stressed that the law is weak, and the penalties are not sufficient, and a new law must be drafted to curb this phenomenon.
Amid repeated calls to amend the law to protect animals and confront the phenomenon of torture and killing of animals in Egypt and the hideous attacks on them, some specialists have monitored the reasons for the spread of the phenomenon in society. As Dr. Shaima Arafa, a specialist in psychiatry, said, sometimes depression and weakness generate an explosion and an extreme reaction from inside the human being. She emphasised in a press statement that there is no analysis or explanation for these crimes that we hear about every day against animals, except for bullying those who are weaker. She explained that repression and emptying of negative energies are the real motives behind violence against animals in Egypt.