Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Have you ever driven by Dbayyeh, close to the Marina, and seen the little illegal shacks where the owners of such places sell pets? Or the small shops in Hamra that have dogs and cats in cages small enough for birds? Or with an enormous number of birds herded into one cage? Or even passed by a street vendor selling chicks that have been dyed a variety of colors in order to make them look festive?

These merchants operate with no license, and with no respect or care for the animals they sell. The animals are placed in claustrophobic spaces, with no opportunity for exercise or access to a licensed vet. Indeed, these animals receive no vaccinations, no check-ups, and no guarantee that this animal is safe enough for you to bring into your home. This is a practice that is bad for both the animal in question and for you. After all, wouldn’t you rather bring an animal that is safe, clean, and from a licensed store than one that has been handled illegally and has never been examined by a vet?

Fortunately, there are easy ways to combat this sort of animal abuse. The first is to avoid doing business with such businessmen. This is in your interest as well, for as aforementioned, animals sold from such places are unexamined and often unclean. Instead, you can make sure to buy your pets from a licensed store that clearly have satisfactory living conditions for animals, such as clean and large cages, play space, vet access, and the like. The second is to report such merchants to the “Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” society. This group often rescues and rehabilitates animals that have been abused. This group also advocates for the closure of such places. For more information on BETA, please follow this link:   http://www.betalebanon.org/ 

Another issue pertaining to animal rights in Lebanon is that of hunting. There are 14 types of birds in Lebanon that are endangered. These birds are not meant for human consumption; they are entirely too small. Instead, hunters will kill them for sport. My fellow Lebanese, for the sake of our environment and love of our country’s wildlife, let us avoid going hunting for sport.    

Lastly, in terms of our personal treatment of animals, it goes without saying that animals need proper veterinary care, need to be groomed regularly, need space to run, should be treated with affection, and not beaten or abused in any way. In doing so, we respect their rights and enjoy animal companionship should we choose to have pets.

My  fellow Lebanese, this is an easy problem to combat. We can do it!

Advertisements