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Dogs Are Now Banned In Egypt

Except for 10 breeds allowed to be kept as pets

From baby walkers being outlawed in Canada to chewing gum being illegal in Singapore, there are some pretty bizarre bans around the world, but none of them top Egypt’s latest law. This week, the Egyptian House of Representatives has enacted a law banning nearly every dog breed in the country. If the animal is considered to be “unsafe” in the eyes of the law, it will be confiscated by the state, making only 10 breeds of dogs approved for registration without the need for further inspection. A heavy fine will be imposed on anyone that possesses any of the banned breeds.  

The  “Regulation of the Possession of Dangerous Animals and Dogs” bill was initially introduced on May 29, after a tragic incident following the death of Mohamed Moheb Al-Mawi, a 42-year-old bank manager in Sheikh Zayed City, in the Greater Cairo Area, who went into a coma and died after being attacked by his neighbor’s pitbull. 

The dangerous animal bill requires owners of dogs as well as wild animals such as tigers and lions to register their pets with the authorities for inspection, which requires the paying of fees and to collar their animal with a metal tag. 

The pets must be registered with the country’s General Authority for Veterinary Services, where an inspection will be conducted to determine how “safe” the pet is. Additionally, pet owners must pay a fee of 50,000 Egyptian pounds ($1,618) to register their pets. If a dog is labeled as “unsafe” it will be confiscated by the state/public veterinarians, however without providing any further details on where the dogs will be taken to— putting their safety in question.   

As stated in the bill, the law only permits the ownership of the following 10 breeds, without any safety precautions: the cocker spaniel, labrador, poodle, Malinois, Pomeranian, Jack Russell, Great Dane, white shepherd, Maltese dog, and Samoyed. 

Meanwhile, the breeds subjected to a thorough government safety licensing process are: pitbull, rottweiler, German Shepherd, boxer, husky, Caucasian shepherd, and bullmastiff.

In the event that a dog runs away, injures someone, or produces offspring, its owners must inform the state. If no injuries are caused by the owners’ infractions, failures to notify the government will result in a fine of 10,000 to 500,000 Egyptian pounds. If an animal injures another person or damages property, the penalties increase dramatically, amounting to a fine of up to one million pounds as well as possible prison time of up to three months. 

Owners found guilty of deliberately initiating an attack, but without causing injury, will be fined between 50,000 and one million Egyptian pounds. If the attack was premeditated, the minimum will be 100,000 Egyptian pounds.

The bill, understably, has sparked public outcry over the controversy surrounding the questionable law. “It’s like passing a law prohibiting people from driving cars because of a car accident,” Mona Khalil, chair of the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA) told Egyptian news outlet Ahram Online

Mohamed Wafa, a certified dog behaviorist of the Animal Behavior Society in the US, also told the Egyptian news outlet, “Dogs, like people, can demonstrate negative behavior when placed in unpleasant circumstances. They require sensitive treatment. Confining a dog in a closed or dark space and exposing it to psychologically damaging training and behavior can make it trust its owner at the expense of others and can even cause it to distrust people and become violent against them.”

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