Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kuwait and the Officialy-Sanctioned Policy of Poisoning Animals

It is very difficult for me to even write about this but I will.  It has been all over 248’s blog as well as others this week – especially after a group of non-aggressive dogs was poisoned to death this past week, outraging many in our little community.  I wanted to provide links to similar stories (and maybe you can provide more).

The poisoning of strays (and domestic) animals has been a long-standing, officially-accepted practice in Kuwait for many years.  It is an “accepted” method by some who say that the strays are vermin.  While I agree that there needs to be a humane way to reduce the number of strays in Kuwait, I do not accept poison as the method. 

... And I believe those who order it and conduct it to be Godless creatures who have no religion, soul, or morality.  My gut impression is that people are sitting in the comfort of their offices, ordering others to carry out the task for them, so that their hands are not tainted. 

In 2007, I brought a field of dead horses to the attention of the Arab Times and PAWS (links to stories below), prompting them to take action.  It turned into a blame game:  NOT of who was inhumanely killing horses, but who 1) was to blame for dumping them and 2) who was to blame for not picking up the carcasses. 

The stories outraged the international horse community (I was contacted by journalists from the UK, France, and US) with many forums and sites discussing the ethics of selling horses to Kuwait.  I don’t know what the outcome of the story is:  If racehorses (often injured by being run too hard by owners) are still being killed via T-61 and dying an inhumane death.  The racehorses I saw were indeed treated like vermin.

It appears from the photos of the dogs recently killed that cyanide was used.  Cyanide is the main ingredient in rat poison.  It is a very slow and painful death (similar to T-61 usage) whereby the animal bleeds-out internally and drowns on its own blood.  There is nothing humane about it.  Cyanide may come in many forms - pellets or powder. 

Many domestic pets in Kuwait over the years have died by accidentally ingesting poison left out by the Municipality/”baladiya” (if that agency is the one responsible).  The poison could be left out anywhere in Kuwait; no notices are placed.  So, if  your pet or your child somehow gets hold of it, it is an awful and tragic death.  Have children (or others) already died from this?  Are there statistics?  Would we know?

It is actually much more humane for an animal to be shot in the head.  Personally, I would prefer that way to go than being poisoned and writhing around on the floor screaming in pain.

The Kuwait Times and K’SPATH have taken up the sword in regards to the issue of the stray dog poisoning and I hope that they will continue the fight.  It is traumatic for anyone dealing with it and fighting for the cause.  It saddens and changes your view of people and humanity.  My prayers are really with them.

What can you do? 

Well, let the international community know.  It seems that what happens here is more often about “saving face” than “saving grace”.  You can fill out a “Report Cruelty” form online at PETA.  They have sent people here to document the inhumane treatment of sheep and helped to create a more humane/halal system.  Get on the forums and tell people what is happening here.  Write to the Arabic newspapers and voice your opinion.

People – make some noise!

Below are links to information about both the stray dog poisonings and the mass slaughter of racehorses in Kuwait.  WARNING!  All are graphic.

Poisoning of Racehorses in Ahmadi:  2007


Anonymous said...

I live in Ahmadi and there are a lot of stray cats over here.. Some of them come into our frontyard and we always give them food and water. We ended up taking care of about 5 cats. They come and go as they like but one day, none of them showed up anymore. It made us worry (we've grown very fond of them) and decided to take a walk outside and look for them. We found two of the cats (that we take care of) lying dead about 10km away from our house, and a lot of other dead cats lying on the street. We assumed that they died of poisoning (its very common here in Ahmadi). We also take care of 5 dogs at home (4 mini pinschers and 1 golden retriever) and now we're scared to even take them out for a walk outside because they might accidentally ingest poison and die. Nowadays we just let them run around our front/backyard. But we don't take them out anymore. :( They should really do something about this issue, it may sound exaggerated to other people but we love our pets and we treat them like family. So it really makes us very very sad if any of them dies. Just because they're animals, doesn't mean you can treat them like crap. They have feelings too and they're also God's creation.

American Girl said...

I can't tell you how devastated I am about the FTZ dogs. It scares me to think this practice is acceptable anywhere in the world, but to know people in my own backyard think this is fine is truly painful.

Expat and the City said...

I am at a loss of words since reading about this on both of your blogs. There are only tears falling.

Anonymous said...

From a reader:

madam, this cruelty not only to animals my son aged seven years had and still having acute dermatitis and went to farwainya hospital doctor checked and prescribed some medicine.I went to pharmacy for collecting the medicine.But pharmacist told me this medicine only for kuwaitees and didnt gave me. interesting thing is iam paying 35 kd every year for insurance and my company giving additional family medical insurance (5000kd)through warba insurance co. what a cruelty this is?
By Anonymous on 2012 Kuwait National Day and Liberation Day Post on 2/29/12