Following a stormy three-hour meeting Monday, the Egyptian parliament's local administration committee recommended that a government committee be formed to stem the growing phenomenon of stray dogs on the streets.
MPs said that a committee, to be headed by deputy agriculture minister Mona Mehrez, will be formed to tackle the crisis of stray dogs and issue recommendations in this respect.
Head of the local administration committee Ahmed El-Sigini said that the government committee will include representatives from the ministries of local development, environment, health, agriculture and interior.
"It will also include representatives from human rights organisations and animal care societies," said El-Sigini, indicating that "the recommendations of the proposed committee should be issued within 45 days."
El-Sigini said "the proliferation of the bad phenomenon of stray dogs on Egyptian streets has become very dangerous.
"Not only are these dogs a danger to public health, but they have also become a threat to the lives of many citizens, particularly children," said El-Signi, adding that "as the government does not have any plan on fighting this phenomenon, it was important that we recommend a committee be formed to tackle the crisis."
El-Sigini revealed that parliament's local administration committee has received thousands of messages from citizens, all complaining that stray and wild dogs on the streets have become a threat to their lives.
MP Salah Hassaballah claimed that stray and wild dogs have caused harm to around 2 million citizens in 2018 and that this means that “we are facing a very bad phenomenon that should be tackled as soon as possible."
MP Magdi Morshed said many citizens get scared when they see on television screens how some children were savagely bitten by stray dogs. Morshed recommended that "wild dogs be culled because they are a big danger."
Mohamed El-Husseini, an MP from Giza's Boulaq El-Dakrour district, said there are a lot of stray dogs in densely populated communities, and that children can't go to their schools alone because they fear these dogs.
Alaa Eid, head of the Ministry of Health's Preventive Medicine Department, said that "as many as 303,000 citizens were bitten by stray and wild dogs in 2018."
"The ministry has the vaccination necessary to treat citizens from dog bites, but it does not have control over the phenomenon of stray dogs," said Eid.
Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad said that some European countries were able to contain the phenomenon of stray dogs.
"There should be greater cooperation between the government and civil society organisations in the coming stage to stem the phenomenon of stray dogs in an orderly way," Fouad said