Dozens protest at Cairo's Gezira Club over mass killing of cats

Salma Shukrallah, Mai Shaheen , Tuesday 26 Aug 2014

Animal rights campaigners gathered at the upscale sporting club to denounce the recent mass poisoning of cats on the club's grounds

Protesters denounce the mass poisoning of cats in front Gezira Club (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Dozens of protesters gathered on Tuesday afternoon in front of Cairo's Gezira Club to object the mass poisoning of cats at the upscale sporting club.

Demonstrators and animal rights activists held banners denouncing the killings, with one banner reading: "He who kills an animal, tomorrow will kill a human being."

Another protester held a banner saying: "There is no right above the right to live."

The incident sparked anger after pictures of dead cats with blood coming out of their mouths circulated on social media.

The graphic photos triggered a backlash from animal lovers who vowed the incident would not be brushed under the carpet.

"Every time they poison cats we comment in sympathy but then remain silent ... This time we will not be silent," said the statement calling for the protest.

"I'm just an animal lover and rescuer and don’t belong to any group … The cats were poisoned and beaten with a wooden stick then carried out of the club in bags," Hoda Mahmoud, one of the protest organisers, told Ahram Online.

The Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA) has filed a legal complaint against the club's management, she added.

Stories of animal cruelty often circulate on social media, but this is the first they've triggered action.

"Stop the Massacre," the Facebook group created to condemn the incident, has also highlighted other examples of animal abuse.

"We also need to campaign for a law that holds accountable those who abuse and kill animals so that we do not see children blowing up cats with firecrackers or cars running over dogs and not stopping," Mahmoud added.

The campaign has attracted the attention of several media outlets.

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