There continue to be conflicting reports on the situation in Egypt regarding the culling of pigs. Many of our supporters have written in to ask us for an update.
We visited Cairo last week and confirmed first hand that the cull had not stopped, although the authorities tried their best to keep this information from us.
Having witnessed this inhumane treatment, WSPA along with our member societies and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), is pressing the Egyptian authorities to confirm the earliest possible date for our meeting (details below).
We will take up the issue of animal welfare legislation and policy improvement; so that we can be sure that the government will fulfil its duty to protect all animals in the country.
Read our update from 3 June 2009:
More than 28,000 people from over 120 countries joined WSPA in speaking out against the brutal treatment of pigs in Egypt. Sadly, the cull is now complete, but our work on animal welfare in Egypt continues.
The fantastic response to WSPA’s online action did not achieve an immediate end to the cull. But supporters who took the action did not go unheard.
The Egyptian Prime Minister contacted us in response to the many thousands of letters and emails, revealing his intention to prosecute any local authorities that allowed violent and inhumane culling methods.
A spark of hope
While WSPA is deeply disappointed that the cull was not halted, the legacy of this gross cruelty may be more positive.
Public pressure has opened a dialogue – WSPA will be joining the Egyptian Agriculture Minister, Chief Veterinary Officer and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in Cairo to discuss bringing animal welfare legislation and policy improvements to this regionally influential nation.
This has the potential to benefit all animals. Egypt currently has no policies prohibiting animal cruelty, leaving the nation’s animals vulnerable to mistreatment – often because people are not aware of their needs and capacity to suffer.
Egypt’s government did begin to show a willingness to engage in animal welfare even as they continued the cull – WSPA’s offer of expert animal welfare advice on the handling and transportation of animals was accepted by the Egyptian Minister of Agriculture.
But our offer was conditional on the cull stopping; it didn’t. After the recent events WSPA is unable to actively advise the Egyptian authorities on practical animal welfare considerations for development of new pig farms until a firmer commitment to animal welfare has been made.
United for animals
This breakthrough was down to our supporters: the response to the online action made those responsible for animal welfare in Egypt realise that the issue of animal welfare is not going away.
Now the door is halfway open for WSPA and other international and local animal welfare organisations to work with the Egyptian authorities.
We hope this significant shift will result in Egypt adopting humane approaches to the many animal challenges it faces, not least growing urban stray dog populations and the unsafe transportation of farm animals.
Thank you to those who acted for animals with WSPA. From a crushingly sad start, there is now a spark of hope for Egypt’s animals.