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.”
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.”
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.