Stray dogs die of starvation … Another aspect of the Lebanon crisis

Beirut / Naim Berjawi / Anadoll

– Many Lebanese were feeding the dogs in their homes and they were unable to provide food for them, which prompted them to abandon them and leave them on the side of the road.
– If some of these animals find someone to feed them, others starve to death in empty garbage containers with leftover food.

The economic crisis in Lebanon has become a threat to all walks of life and is also burdening pets, as tens of thousands of them have been left homeless, without food or shelter.

Many Lebanese who housed dogs in their homes were unable to provide food for these animals, which prompted them to abandon them and leave them on the side of the road.

The number of stray dogs in Lebanon is estimated at more than 40,000 and is growing day by day in light of the escalating economic crisis and people abandoning more of them, according to what activists in the field confirmed to the Anatolian correspondent. .

Since the end of 2019, Lebanese have suffered under the weight of a severe economic crisis, which has led to a deterioration of their livelihood after an unprecedented decline in their purchasing power, in light of the decline in the value of the Lebanese pound to the dollar.

As the number of these animals multiplies between urban and suburban neighborhoods, citizen Ali Al-Turk chose to feed dozens of dogs and cats every day on the streets.

He told the Anadolu Agency that many of these animals appear to have lived in the homes of their owners and cared for them before being dumped on the streets, noting that he provides food for them from the remains of poultry shops.

** Waste without food waste

And if some of these animals find someone to feed them, others starve to death when containers are emptied of food waste, according to animal rights activist Ghina Nahfawi.

In her interview with the Anadolu Agency, Nahfawi said the rubbish on the street is almost empty of food waste used to feed stray animals.

She added that many people can no longer provide for their food and therefore there will be no waste to dump with the waste, as it was before, before the deteriorating living conditions in the country.

These conditions increase the suffering of animals in Lebanon, according to Nahfawi, who pointed out that most stray dogs were housed by humans in their homes, but they abandoned them because they were unable to feed them.

According to the United Nations World Food Program, 50 percent of Lebanese are concerned about their inability to provide food for themselves, while the Lebanese government estimated the percentage of those in need of monthly assistance at about 80 percent. of people.

** The price of dog food exceeds the minimum wage

One of the manifestations of abandonment of dogs is that their owners have tied them up in front of veterinary clinics not to follow them home, according to veterinarian Gad Shaya, in his interview with “Anatolia”.

He said he is surprised every day by the presence of tied dogs at the entrance of his clinic, noting that the phenomenon of pet dispersal has increased day by day for about a year and a half, due to the high cost of caring for them .

Chaaya, Secretary of the Veterinary Union in Lebanon, pointed out that before the crisis, feeding a dog cost from 30 to 45 thousand pounds a month, but today the monthly cost can reach about one million Lebanese pounds.

The minimum wage in Lebanon is 675 thousand pounds, which before the economic crisis was equal to 450 dollars, but the government did not change it despite the fall of the Lebanese pound and became equal to about 35 dollars.

The Lebanese pound has been gradually deteriorating since the end of 2019 after more than 20 years of fixing its price against the dollar, as the one-dollar exchange rate recently reached around 19,000 pounds in the parallel (black) market, compared to 1,510 in the official market.

And as for dog food, so are its vaccines, its price has risen from mijë 30,000 to mijë 400,000, as most dog care supplies and food are imported from abroad in foreign currency, which reflected in an increase in them. prices within Lebanon.

Shaya pointed out that before the crisis, a large percentage of people, regardless of their economic conditions, were able to house pets in their homes, but today this is limited to the affluent classes only.

The poverty rate in the country reached 55 percent in 2020, but economists expect this percentage to be higher in 2021, due to the continuing deterioration of economic and living conditions.

** stray dogs at the airport

The escalation of the stray dog ​​crisis has reached the point that about 35 of them have been monitored inside the “Rafik Hariri International Airport” in Beirut, according to activist Nahfawi, citing several associations dealing with animal rights.

She stressed that the breeding of these animals at the airport has become a threat to public safety and air traffic, and this has been previously confirmed by local media.

Therefore, these associations are working in coordination with the airport administration to rescue these dogs and find a safe haven for them, while so far about 10 of them have been rescued.

She added that officials at the airport administration promised to fill all the gaps through which stray dogs can re-enter the airport.

The news published on the official website of Anadolu Agency is an abbreviation of a part of the news that is presented to subscribers through the News Broadcasting System (HAS). To subscribe to the agency, please contact the link below.

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