MASSACRE IN MOROCCO
From December 2015 to March 2016 Moroccan governmental officials within the city of Ksar el-Kebir have slaughtered many thousands of stray dogs with single or multiple shots to the head and body using live rounds. Some media and press reports have stated that the slaughter only went on for one day during December 2016, others state two days.
Fortunately International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa hosts a total of eighteen environmental activists within the African country, all of which have confirmed the slaughter has been ongoing from December 2015 and, is still ongoing today September 2016. However for now the cull is mostly over.
The nighttime killings have decreased significantly since the media began publishing on the mass culling of stray dogs and cats, and partially due to many street dogs now wiped clean off the streets of Ksar el-Kebir and within other Moroccan cities such as the Medina quarter - until next year of course.
Image: One of many dogs killed by men gunmen.
International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa has learnt that the French Government in Europe are partially supporting the annual culling operation identified as ‘Street Animal Welfare’, although there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of welfare practiced here.
Sources have explained to us that most if not all of the local street dogs were shot using live rounds by inexperienced gunmen on the back of jeeps or 4×4’s. Moreover sources within the Moroccan capital of Rabat stated that poisons had been laid down to kill street dogs and cats too. The deaths were reported as horrific and nowhere near humane!
Image: Moroccan teenager showing love and compassion to a stray dog.
From December to date most of the killings have occurred at night which is when the vast majority of street dogs are active. (I.A.R.F.A) learnt that the Moroccan Government ordered the killings due to concerns of ‘rabies’ within the country, and because of an influx of tourists this year too. The Rabat capital ordered dog wardens to pin posters up relating to rabies, as well as hand them out to the locals (as can be seen below).
Image: Rabies info in French and Arabic.
The Ksar El Kebir Government ordered this years killings on the 22nd March 2016, although there is much evidence to show the killings began in December 2015. Nonetheless many dogs were slaughtered this year prompting the global population of animal lovers to kick up a wild frenzy, and why should’t they? Morocco isn’t learning here from its mistakes, instead every year they order inexperienced gunmen at nighttime to shoot hundreds of dogs a night (during the dated culling period).
Image: Dead dogs dumped onto the back of a 4×4 in Morocco.
Local authorities, in an ironic attempt to curb the number of starving canines, are sought to kill dogs, adults and puppies alike. These actions are as inhuman as they are expensive for the taxpayers. What’s more, there are numerous studies and expert assessments available from the best international specialists in public health, which demonstrate that this approach is totally inefficient. However despite the best efforts of everyone trying to halt this massacre - the bloody slaughter continued.
Its been estimated that in the Moroccan town of Casablanca, some 15,000+ street dogs are killed every-year. So one would kind of think that instead of killing stray dogs the authorities would at least try to humanly control the increasing stray dog population and, slow any rabies virus from emerging, seemingly not, every year more and more dogs are massacred in the most brutal and barbaric manners you could think of.
Morocco is a predominantly French Muslim/Muslim/Islamic African country of which the Holy Quran states the following in relation to animals that share the same quarters as us, socialize with us, and roam with us (Etc.):
“There is not an animal (that lives) on the Earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities, like you.” (Sura 13 Aya 15).
Furthermore another interesting quote from the Holy Quran is that about ‘mistreatment of animals’. The Holy Quran states the following:
“It is related from Jabir that the Messenger of Allah, once saw a donkey which had been branded on its face and he said, “May Allah curse the one who branded it.” (Muslim)”
While I’m not going to become embroiled within some religious debate, I do find it grossly contradictory that so called ‘Muslims that follow the holy scriptures of the Quran would then violate that holy book or anyone of the alleged recited peaceful verses’?
Image: Hundreds of dogs shot dead violating the Quran’s scripture.
The majority of the killings took place in Ksar-el-kebir of which some 110,000 people inhabit. Furthermore about 160km’s away from ksar-el-kebir in Rabut public workers took to the streets killing more dogs.
Further, in Marrakech, local city authorities opted for the poisoning as procedure. Same for Salé, Skhirat Kenitra [Rabat-Salé-Kenitra] and Nador [Oriental Region] says Loubna El Mourabite Kettani, a militant of the animal cause, adding that poisoning can affect even the dogs that have owners, as the poisoned bait is scattered randomly in neighborhoods.
International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa, The World Health Organisation, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the International Alliance for Rabies Control ‘strictly advises’ local authorities worldwide to sterilize and vaccinate dogs in order to reduce their population and combat rabies. However as you can see every year throughout various Moroccan cites and towns the local authorities opt for killing dogs at point blank range, with live rounds or just poison baits, however things may be on the turn (please keep reading).
Image: Muslim’s do love dogs, sadly ‘a minority don’t’.
Zineb Bouchikhi, ONSSA’s communications officer, said that: “stray dogs that do not have owners, given the danger they pose to public health, are eliminated by local authorities as part of the national strategy against rabies. Dogs which have owners, in turn, are vaccinated annually by ONSSA officers in rural and peri-urban areas. In urban areas, private veterinarians are in charge of this operation.”
In the period from 2010 to 2015, an average of 90 000 owned dogs were vaccinated by the veterinary services of ONSSA in different regions of Morocco. However, there are no statistics on stray dogs slaughtered by local authorities each year. (How coincidental is that?).
International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa, local and international charitable organisations believe in capture, vaccinate, sterilize, de-worm and relax in the area of origin, is the best scientific, ethical and sustainable approach to preserve human and animal health. Shooting dogs though is not controlling the problem which is clear to see due to annual shootings every year.
Furthermore the cost of shooting dogs will heavily outweigh the cost of vaccination. Concerning-ly due to the press and media picking up on these mass and brutally horrific culls it will only bring a bad name to Morocco thus reducing tourism, finance, increasing poverty, unemployment and crime.
Trap: (Trap, neuter and release) is practiced in India, Turkey, America and Canada and has enabled eradication of rabies in a few years. In Morocco, including Essaouira and Taghazout, similar experiments were carried out. These are examples to generalize nationally. So if (TNR) works why are the local authorities still shooting dogs dead at some 15,000-25,000 a year annually?
Half of the domestic dogs and strays stay in residential areas, close to the forest or the sea. Meanwhile they rule the streets in the night finding food near the garbage containers or outside houses in the suburbs. In the early morning they leave to find a more calm place to sleep, usually in the forest. Strays mostly shy away from humans who use to throw stones at them as a protection.
Image: A watch dog in Sekkala.
Concluding I can state now: An initiative has been launched as of [Wed 30 Mar 2016] in Rabat jointly by RAPAD and Adan association in collaboration with municipal councilors of Rabat for the creation of a pilot project for the benefit of canine and feline stray populations. The associations of the capital [Rabat] aspire to make it a successful alternative experience to convince both the state government departments and elected officials to abandon slaughter.
For now though I’ll leave you with this video as a shocking reminder to the ongoing crisis in the African country of Morocco. We (the organisation) hope to never see such a sickening image of barbaric brutality again.
Dr Jose Carlos Depre
Chief Executive Officer | Director