After weeks of frenetic campaigning by Compassion and other welfare groups, the Egyptian Chief Veterinary Officer told us that 'culling' of pigs in Egypt had been stopped. Officials in what was understood to be the last province killing pigs (Helwan), were said to have "postponed" the cull.
Sadly, in spite of these assurances, we now hear that these remaining pigs are being culled. We are continuing our protests via both diplomatic and campaigning channels.
Some 150,000 pigs are thought to have been killed already, many in the most appalling ways; tipped hundreds at a time into open-topped lorries, covered in caustic chemicals or stabbed through the heart with iron bars.
Working with our partners in Egypt, the Egyptian Society of Animal Friends (ESAF), and kindred spirits worldwide, we have delivered searing pressure on the nation's government.
An international storm of protest resulted in Egypt's Prime Minister issuing a decree forbidding some of the worst killing methods. The intergovernmental body that claims responsibility for animal welfare, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), issued a statement condemning the "pointless culling of pigs" and strongly encouraging Egypt to follow internationally agreed guidelines on humane killing methods. At the annual gathering of government chief vets from around the world, there was diplomatic condemnation of Egypt's action and talk of a nation embarrassed by the cull.
Leading Islamic scholars have also condemned the cruel methods being used to cull the pigs.
So where next? For us, the important thing is to move quickly to ensure that the world never sees the likes of this again.
A nation embarrassed
For the past two years, Egypt has presided over draft animal welfare legislation. If that legislation had been in place, it is conceivable that this atrocity might never have happened. Working with our partner organisation in Egypt, Compassion is now seizing this moment to push for that new law.
Knowing that thousands of supporters have struck Egypt from their list of potential holiday destinations, this atrocity has damaged the country's reputation. We are now in high-level dialogue with the Egyptian state tourism organisation and other avenues to press Egypt to adopt legislation to ensure that this cruelty cannot be repeated. We will also be going to Cairo with friends from the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to take our message direct to the government.
You can help by writing to the government of Egypt. Please reiterate your outrage at this pointless and cruel 'cull'. Point out the damage that has been done to the country's reputation. Call for national legislation to be passed that protects animal welfare and prevents these horrific scenes from being repeated. You might also like to take part in our campaign action to tell the Egyptian Tourist Minister that you will no longer consider Egypt as a holiday destination until the Egyptian government takes tough action to stop animal cruelty.
"Egypt's mass pig kill is quite simply the worst atrocity to farm animals that I have ever seen."
Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive, Compassion in World Farming