CAIRO: The board of Gezira Club is investigating the brutal killing of dozens of stray cats inside it, head of the club Yasser el-Faranawy told ON TV Sunday, after backlash from animal rights activists, citizens on social networks and members of the upscale club.
Graphic pictures of dozens of stray cats poisoned and bludgeoned to death in Gezira Club, one of Cairo’s most prestigious social venues, have put animal rights under the spotlight.
The cats are believed to have been killed at the approval of the club’s administration, but the head of Gezira Club Yasser el-Faranawy told ON TV Sunday that no formal orders were issued to kill the cats.
“I did not say I am denying or confirming (that the killing happened inside the club) I said I am investigating. Something surfaced on social networks, it has all been seen and we are investigating this. If that is true, that someone killed cats, they will be severely punished,” Faranawy said.
Some private and governmental entities in Egypt get rid of stray animals by poisoning or shooting them fearing for the safety of children, or because of claims that some dogs are rabid or are “dangerous hybrids” of dogs and wolves, or because of the “discomfort” they represent.
“Some people kill stray dogs immediately without giving a chance for anyone to know whether they are suffering from any diseases,” Mona Khalil, head of the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA), told The Cairo Post Monday.
Earlier in August, pictures of a furless bony dog brutally killed also received backlash from Egyptians on social networks. It was killed with batons in one of Cairo’s most expensive gated communities, Madinaty.
Residents complained to Madinaty’s administration about “an odd-looking dog,” and although ESMA contacted Madinaty to take the dog to its animal shelters, it was killed the next day per instructions from the community’s board.
“Even dogs that bite are not necessarily rabid, and killing them at once does not help determine the best treatment for the people they have bitten. No one can know for sure if a dog is rabid or not, only a blood test can tell. If not, then a days-long observation can help; a rabid dog does not drink water, avoids light, loses eye sight at a certain stage, and hides,” Khalil added.
Before its death, the dog was found hiding in an uninhabited house, according to Ahl Madinaty Magazine’s Facebook page, administered by some Madinaty residents.
The dog was not a stray animal; its owners abandoned it after it suffered scab, according to Khalil.
Madinaty News posted on Aug. 2 that the animal was a pure-breed dog, not a hybrid animal as rumored, and that it did not attack any of the community’s residents.