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Egypt – Animal Welfare and Cultural Issues

Egypt has a rich history and culture dating back thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians are well known for their reverence for animals, particularly cats, which were considered sacred. Today, pets are widely accepted in Egypt, with many families owning cats, dogs, and other domestic animals. However, animal welfare issues are still a concern in the country, and there are cultural taboos that affect the treatment of certain animals.

Prevailing Attitude to Animals and Pets

Egyptians generally have a positive attitude towards animals and pets. Cats, in particular, are still highly regarded and are often seen roaming the streets. Dogs are also common pets, but they tend to be kept on a leash or in a yard. Other pets, such as birds and fish, are also popular.

Despite this, animal welfare remains a concern in Egypt. Stray animals, such as dogs and cats, are often mistreated and neglected. There have been reports of animal abuse, including poisoning, shooting, and beating. In addition, animal hoarding is a problem in some areas.

Laws Regarding Pet Ownership

There are laws in Egypt that govern pet ownership. According to the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA), pets must be registered with the local authorities and have up-to-date vaccination records. Dogs must be licensed and have a microchip implant. Owners are responsible for their pets’ actions and must prevent them from harming other people or animals.

However, the enforcement of these laws can be lax, and there is a lack of awareness about responsible pet ownership in some areas. Stray animals are not well managed, and there is no effective system in place for controlling their population.

Major Animal Charities

There are several animal charities operating in Egypt that work to improve animal welfare. One of the largest is the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA). This organization provides shelter and veterinary care to animals in need, and also runs education programs to raise awareness about animal welfare issues.


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Another prominent animal charity in Egypt is the Society for the Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt (SPARE). This organization provides medical care and shelter for animals, and also campaigns for animal rights.

Pet Supply Stores

Pet supply stores are not as common in Egypt as they are in some other countries. However, there are a few stores that cater to pet owners. One of the most well-known is Petzone, which has several locations in Cairo and other cities. Petzone offers a wide range of pet products, including food, toys, and accessories.

In addition to physical stores, there are also several online pet supply stores that deliver to Egypt. One such store is Zoobio, which offers a large selection of pet products, including food, grooming supplies, and healthcare products.

Cultural Taboos and Sensitivities

Egyptian culture has a complex relationship with animals. As mentioned earlier, cats were considered sacred in ancient Egypt, and this reverence for felines still exists to some extent today. However, there are also cultural taboos that affect the treatment of certain animals.

Pigs, for example, are considered unclean in Islam, which is the predominant religion in Egypt. As a result, pork is not commonly eaten, and pigs are rarely kept as pets. In addition, some Egyptians believe that dogs are unclean and should not be kept as pets. This attitude is not universal, however, and many Egyptians keep dogs as pets without issue.

Another cultural sensitivity that affects animals in Egypt is the use of animals in traditional medicine. Some Egyptians believe that certain animal products, such as dried scorpions and snake venom, have medicinal properties. This has led to the exploitation of some animals, particularly reptiles and insects.In general, there are no specific cultural taboos or sensitivities associated with different types of animals in Egypt. However, as with any country, it is important to be aware of local customs and attitudes towards pets. It is also important to abide by local laws and regulations regarding pet ownership and care.


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