22 May 2009

Egypt is at the centre of a global storm of outrage over its horrific mass killing of pigs. Compassion has been working tirelessly with international partners and supporters to bring pressure on the Egyptian government.

Whilst targeting Egyptian embassies worldwide, our most recent lobbying has been aimed at the influential intergovernmental organisations; namely the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The "pointless" culling of pigs was condemned by the OIE on 20 May 2009

The OIE has the most influence as it presides over international standards on animal welfare adopted by more than 170 signatory countries, Egypt being one.

In addition to granting Compassion an emergency meeting in Paris, the OIE has also moved to restate its opposition to the cull. In a new statement to member countries, the OIE makes it clear that it has "already strongly advised on the pointless culling of pigs..." and calls for effective implementation of internationally agreed animal welfare guidelines. Sweeping away Egypt's apparent justification of the cull due to swine flue, the OIE makes it clear that culling "will not help to guard against public or animal health risks". It goes on to say that such action is "not recommended".

With the world's governments gathering in Paris next week for the OIE's annual meeting, we have been lobbying their chief vets (the main constituent at the OIE) - in Africa, America, Australia, Asia and Europe - to condemn the cull.

Following our meeting with DEFRA Minister, Hilary Benn MP earlier in the week, the UK Government is making direct representations to the Egyptian government. We understand that this is in liaison with the European Union.

The situation in Egypt

It is estimated that this will continue for 7-10 days until all of Egypt' pigs are dead.

Sources suggest that 143,000 - over a third - of Egypt's pigs have now been killed and that the rest will be dead within 7-10 days.

Whilst the cull still goes on, there are some signs of progress. The Prime Minister of Egypt has issued a decree calling for an end to some of the worst methods of killing; burning or burying alive or killed using methods like having bricks dropped on them. However, the decree still allows killing to continue by stabbing the animals in the heart, which is seriously inhumane.

Take action

Please help us to keep up the pressure by emailing the Egyptian Prime Minister and sending a protest email to the Egyptian Tourism Minister. We will do all we can to bring an end to this atrocity and to ensure that its like is never seen again.

Help us end this senseless cruelty and ensure that suffering on this scale is never repeated - donate today.

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