Morocco protesters demand end to 'massacre' of strays

Morocco protesters demand end to 'massacre' of strays
A protest held on Friday by animal rights activists in Morocco demanded a ban on the killing of stray cats and dogs.
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A female dog carries its puppy on a road in Morocco. (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Animal rights activists in Morocco protested in the capital Rabat Saturday to demand a ban on what one demonstrator called the "pitiless" killing of stray animals, an AFP journalist reported.

On Friday, ahead of the protest, the interior ministry told local media it had already taken measures to encourage municipalities to avoid using firearms and poisons to kill stray dogs but some activists remained unconvinced.

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Sacha, from the North African country's commercial capital Casablanca, said he was against "the pitiless extermination of cats and dogs in Morocco".

"Dogs are maltreated and put in cages with nothing to eat or drink, they are massacred -- poisoned or burned alive -- and their young are drowned," the activist told AFP.

The demonstration outside parliament in Rabat was called by the country's Société Protectrice des Animaux du Maroc (SPA du Maroc)/The Humane Society of Morocco as part of an international campaign.

"We want an immediate end to the killing of street dogs," SPA du Maroc chief Ali Izddine said. "We also want parliament to pass a law protecting animals."

He said his organisation was also calling for the application of a TNVR programme (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return).

In 2019 Morocco signed an agreement "to sterilise, vaccinate and identify stray dogs", but activists say it has not been implemented.