Prosecution summons suspected cat poisoners

CAIRO: Qasr el-Nil prosecutor summoned the head of a company that was hired by Al-Ahly Sporting Club to remove stray cats from premises, Youm7 reported Wednesday.

On Nov. 20, members of Egyptian animal rights organizations gathered outside Al Ahly SC Friday to protest the club’s alleged mass poisoning of stray cats. Photos of doznes of dead cats at Al-Ahly SC in Zamalek had gone viral on social media, triggering a lawsuit against the club.

The lawyer of Al-Ahly told the prosecution that his client’s contract stipulated that the company take the cats to shelters, not poison them.

Officials from the club said that they were not aware of the incident and blamed the company they contracted.

“Our contract with the company says it should anesthetize the stray cats and places them in cages before they are taken to animal shelters,” Director General of Al Ahly club Sheren Shams was quoted by Youm7.

Gezira Club, also located in Cairo’s upscale district of Zamalek, faced a similar backlash in August 2014 after dozens of stray cats were poisoned and bludgeoned to death inside it.

The two clubs said that their members have complained about stray cats inside being “aggressive.”

The Gezira Club lawsuit failed to convict anyone, as Qasr el-Nil prosecution said there is not an article in the Penal Code that punishes the killing of stray animals, but only owned animals.

However, animal rights advocates rely on article 45 of the 2014 constitution, which obliges the state to “guarantee proper treatment of animals, all according to the law.”

Article 357 of the Penal Code states that an offender shall be jailed for six months or pay a fine if he killed a domesticated animal deliberately.

In March 2015, three men accused of killing a dog were sentenced to between one and three months in jail, after they appealed their initial three-year sentence.

The dog, however, was owned by a man, who was also sentenced albeit in absentia. The four defendants were accused of torturing and killing the dog.


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