UAE | General

Dogs, cats ending up in workers’ kitchens?

UAE animal rescue groups suspect expats from certain countries are consuming strays as delicacies

  • By Sharmila Dhal, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 20:46 January 23, 2013
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit: Supplied photo
  • Saved by their skin: The 23 pups who were rescued by Poshpaws

Dubai: Animal rescue groups in the UAE suspect that stray dogs and cats are ending up in the kitchens of some foreign workers.

Laura Glanfield of Poshpaws Animal Sanctuary in Dubai who rescued 23 pups from a pack of 150 stray dogs in an industrial area in Abu Dhabi last week said: “We do know that dog meat is eaten as a delicacy in some countries of the world. It is against the law in the UAE, but we have heard that some workers from these countries consume dog meat here. They apparently target stray dogs as they are a free source. But we do not have any solid evidence.”

Raghad Auttabashi of Abu Dhabi-based Al-Rahma Animal Welfare Society told XPRESS: “We strongly suspect that people from some foreign communities are catching stray dogs and cats and eating them. It is not openly done and we still have not been able to collect any proof. It may be normal to eat these animals in their countries, but it goes completely against our culture here.”

Missing cats

On Sunday, a furniture salesman in Abu Dhabi called Auttabashi asking for help to find three missing cats. The cats, whom he had been feeding outside his workplace for two years, suddenly vanished last week, he claimed.

“When I started searching for them, somebody told me that foreign workers from a nearby construction site had bundled them into a bag and carried them away. They could not say for sure what they eventually did with the cats, but said they may have been taken to be eaten,” he alleged.

Auttabashi said she came across a bird cage at a street corner in the Khalidiya area which had a piece of meat inside. “I believe it was used by members of a particular community to catch cats for consumption,” she alleged. “There must be reason why we still miss two cats here and three cats there.”

Strong rumours

Natalie Stones of Animal Action in Abu Dhabi said: “I have heard that these things are happening in some construction sites. But I have not seen anything myself.”

But Montserrat Martin of Friends of Animals, said: “I don’t believe this is happening. If there was a suspicion, the authorities would have looked into it immediately.”

Meanwhile, Glanfield said she was hard-pressed to find foster homes for the 23 rescued pups. “Over three years, an initial five dogs have multiplied to around 150 in the industrial area. This just proves how important trapping and neutering programmes are. We now have a situation of finding homes for the pups, besides the mammoth task of trapping and neutering the adults.”

She said the pups are currently being sheltered in the Poshpaws Animal Sanctuary in Al Khawaneej, Dubai and at Poshpaws Kennels in Ajman. “We are looking for foster and permanent homes for all these puppies,” she added.

Comments (9)

Your comments
  1. Added 13:19 January 24, 2013

    Wow, this says a lot about the level of poverty, ignorance and lack of hygienic conditions in which some people live, even before making any other kind of consideration.

    Marilena, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 12:51 January 24, 2013

    Blame it on employers who are not paying their employees for months! You all think of animal welfare and turn your backs on fellow humans! it's better than stealing or begging. This is survival!

    unknown 1, sharjah, India

  3. Added 11:51 January 24, 2013

    PLEASE DONT BLAMEE EVERYTHING on BLUE collar WORKERS who WORKING IN A VERY BAD CONDITION VERY LOW SALARY (like some people's per day expense) PLEASE CONSIDER THEM AS HUMANS.

    NABEEL, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 10:18 January 24, 2013

    I just dont know what to say! The meat might be a delicacy but being an animal lover I am just appalled. But at the same time strays are becoming an issue and something that people of our (middle income group) can not do much! I would love to foster a dog, but with strict rules and policies and keeping a dog and only few areas with huge rentals allowing keeping a pet just makes this so much more difficult. I just wish and hope that the UAE relaxes and rules of such kinds. It would make many people like us to offer help to animals and at the same time teach our growing children affection and respect towards the animal kingdom too. BTW dogs are as loving and affectionate and dear to many of us like cats! so it never ceases to amaze me that cats are acceptable as pets in a whole lot of places but dogs always endure skepticism :(

    Malini, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 08:27 January 24, 2013

    But isnt a consumption of the stray animals a solution?

    Simon Drew, NY, United States

  6. Added 07:12 January 24, 2013

    Its been happening from a long time. I used to stay in sharjah industrial area. At nights traps used to be laid for cats and dogs openly. and early morning certain individuals used to take them away covered in black cloth.

    sandeep, ajman, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 02:44 January 24, 2013

    Yes unfortunately this is happeing and the only thing that can stop this is a strong reaction from goverment institutions.

    shah, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 22:59 January 23, 2013

    Dogs are big nuisance in Dubai. Sale of dogs should be banned. Pet dogs should be allowed only in independent villas.

    Saqeer SV, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 21:52 January 23, 2013

    My Priend...

    me, dubai, United Arab Emirates

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