MP Caroline Maher believes stricter laws are necessary.
Member of Parliament Caroline Maher presented a new draft amendment to the Penal Code No. 58 of 1937, which proposes an increased penalty for the violation, transgression or use of violence against any animal species - including stray animals.
Current laws do not contain strict punishments or fines for animal abuse, which doesn't reflect the magnitude of the crime, Maher argued. According to the current Egyptian Penal Code, Article 355 only punishes killing or causing enormous harm to drawing, riding, or carrying animals or fish with a maximum parole of two years or a fine not exceeding 200 LE ($USD11). In 1982, Article 357 was added which criminalised the above acts to domesticated animals as well.
Maher’s new draft law adds five new paragraphs to Article 357 which include the criminalisation of abuse against stray animals, unlicensed scientific experiments, wrestling or competitions between animals for monetary gain, as well as the filming and circulation of videos that showcase violence against animals.
The MP noted that every religion has forbidden the act of unnecessary violence against all creatures and imposed moral codes prohibiting animal abuse, but due to gaps in the current legislation, animal abuse has been committed by citizens often without consequence.
MP Maher added that some citizens are poisoning street animals and spreading brutal videos of animal abuse on social media, with no concern that violence against animals could be normalised and spread as a result.
Many animal shelters in Egypt, such as Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA) or Cairo Animals Rescue Team (CART), are dedicated to bettering the lives of stray animals who undergo the brutal experiences mentioned by MP Maher. To help Egypt’s stray animals, visit ESMA here or CART here. What laws would you propose to protect Egypt's stray animals? Let us know in the comments below.