Act now: Situation remains critical for Egypt’s pigs

May 27, 2009

WSPA will continue to work towards a better future for all animals in Egypt

Information from Cairo suggests that more than half the country’s pig population has now been culled, despite there being no proven link between pigs and swine flu transmission. WSPA fears that brutal culling methods, documented in disturbing footage, continue.

The footage from Cairo, of pigs being kicked, burned and buried alive, shows clear breaks with World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines on animal welfare – guidelines Egypt agreed in 2005.

But the OIE lacks the mandate to intervene, and the remaining pigs are expected to be killed within two weeks – a decision challenged by thousands of WSPA supporters internationally.

It is also being challenged within Egypt. WSPA member societies the Society for Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt and the Animal Welfare Association for Research and Education have protested outside the slaughterhouses where the cull is being carried out; the Egyptian Society of Animal Friends is preparing a ground-breaking legal case.

Unsatisfactory response

In an official response to WSPA’s campaign, the Egyptian Prime Minister’s Cabinet maintained that the cruel methods caught on camera were “isolated” incidents and those responsible will be prosecuted.

But the Prime Minister remains adamant that Egypt needs to cull all its pigs and start new farms outside the capital.

WSPA continues to question both the need for the cull and the methods used – before swine flu was publicized authorities had planned to re-home overcrowded city pigs outside Cairo.

With no link between pigs and swine flu transmission, no acceptable reason has been given as to why pigs from the city could not be moved to the new farms.

Unnecessary slaughter

The Ministry of Agriculture has accepted WSPA’s offer of technical assistance to guarantee high welfare conditions in the new farms.

However, WSPA cannot deliver this until the Ministry has exerted its authority to stop the needless cull.

WSPA’s Sofia Parente commented: “We are glad the Prime Minister of Egypt acknowledged the thousands of letters from WSPA supporters. But until there is a positive signal that the cull will stop we will continue to contact him daily.”

“WSPA is also thinking of the long term and working closely with the World Organization for Animal Health to prevent situations of extreme animal cruelty like this from ever happening again.”

Keeping up the pressure

So far, over 25,000 people from more than 60 countries have joined us to call for an immediate end to the cull.

It is public pressure that Egyptian authorities have responded to. Please join the campaign and tell your friends >>

WSPA is also fighting for the pigs’ lives by:

  • contacting the Egyptian Prime Minister daily to report the mounting international outrage and demand an end to the cull

  • calling on the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to extend its mandate and intervene to prevent extreme cases of cruelty – a sentiment echoed this week by Chief Veterinary Officers

  • meeting with Egypt’s Chief Veterinary Officer and their representative at the animal welfare working group of the OIE today, May 27.

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