Lebanon man sets pit bull on street cat to 'maul, feed on' as crisis bites

Lebanon man sets pit bull on street cat to 'maul, feed on' as crisis bites
As Lebanon's economic situation deteriorates, a Lebanese content creator said a man was spotted aiding his dog in killing a stay cat to feed his pet.
2 min read
01 November, 2020
The cat died in the attack [Facebook]
A man in Lebanon was photographed allegedly encouraging his pit bull dog to maul a street cat to death, prompting calls from activists for fair persecution under Lebanon's animal rights law. 

Ghayd Chammas, a Lebanese content creator known for his satirical El 3ama videos, said in a viral video that the man helped his dog attack the cat in order to take the dead amnimal home as feed for his pet.

Lebanon's Internal Security Forces are investigating the incident, which took place in Beirut's Mar Mikhael – one of the streets devestated by the Beirut blast.

The investigation was inititated after local NGO Perpetual Animal Watch (PAW) helped a neighbourhood woman, who was regularly feeding the killed cat, file a complaint.

The woman, Ghina Nahfawi Baltahji, witnessed the attack on the street cat and tried to confront the man, who hit her in the shoulder in retaliation, PAW said in a Facebook video.

"I saw the cat's eyes roll back and I knew it was dying. I couldn't bear it, so I went and kicked the dog's head so it would let go," she told the NGO. "The owner hit me on the shoulder and the neck," she said.

Chammas, outraged by the incident, spoke out against the dog owner and said if he was struggling to afford pet food he should cut down on his own expenses. "Street cats are not a 5-course meal," he said.

The NGO said it also filed a request to have the pit bull confiscated and rehabilitate it, pending a police interrogation of the suspect.

Lebanon's animal welfare bill – passed by parliament in 2017 after years of lobbying by animal rights groups – outlines requirements for keeping domestic pets, regulations for zoos, and pet shops. Violations are penalised with fines and jail time.

The country has also been locked in a devastating financial crisis with a weak pound inflating the prices of goods and wiping out savings. In recent months, animals rights NGOs have observed owners abandon their pets due to increasing costs of food and supplies.

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