CAIRO: Residents of the Awlad Azaz Village in Upper Egypt have reportedly killed a dog after it allegedly bit 14 local children, Youm7 reported Tuesday.
The children were taken to Sohag Teaching Hospital suffering from wounds scattered over their bodies; one boy was reportedly bitten in his face.
A police report has been filed and investigations kicked off into the incident, which was referred to the public prosecution, according to Youm7.
There are thousands of stray dogs in the streets in Egypt; the government has sought to solve the problem by poisoning many every year using strychnine, the former Deputy Head of the Veterinarian Services Authority Hassan Shafiq previously told The Cairo Post.
Some neighborhoods send complaints about dogs gathering in their areas, and thus, the Veterinarian Services Authority also sends “trained” vets to these areas to kill the dogs, according to Shafiq.
The practice has been described as “unmerciful” by animal rights activists, who said that dogs do not usually bite people, and that the only two incidents of rabies that were documented in 2013 originated from cows and horses, Dina Zulfaqqar, a well-known animal rights activist said in previous comments to The Cairo Post.
Stray dogs and cats have been ubiquitous on Egypt’s streets for years, and although they are not typically mistreated, recent cases have been reported raising backlash from Egyptians against cruelty in dealing with animals.
In January, a court closed a case filed against Al-Ahly Club over killing stray dogs on grounds that the law does not criminalize killing stray animals.
According to 2014 constitution, the state should “guarantee humane treatment of animals.” Under Article 357 in Egypt’s Penal Code, whoever willfully kills or poisons a domestic animal will face a punishment of not more than six months detention and a fine not exceeding 200 EGP ($25.)