Former Head of al-Azhar’s Fatwa Committee Abdel Hameed al-Atrash proclaimed that Muslims may kill and eat cats and dogs, in a phone-in with TeN satellite channel on Tuesday.
He explained that the committee had previously reviewed the issue, and it was allowed.
“The Prophet (Mohamed) ordered us to be merciful with animals, humans and birds. He (Prophet Mohamed) said, ‘if you kill then kill well; and if you slaughter, then slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters’.”
In his discussion with the program’s presenter, Amr Abdel Hamid, Atrash added that “there is a jurisprudential ruling by Imam Malik that there is no harm in eating dog or cats. Eating dogs or cats is halal, but after the Islamic method of slaughtering.”
“There is no prohibition except by text, and no text has been provided for that.”
Atrash reasoned that “the export of dogs and cats is halal, as long as the laws of the country agree to that.”
Parliamentarian Abdel Rehim Ali warned the government on Monday of considering to kill stray cats and dogs, as these actions could lead to environmental imbalance.
Ali also submitted a request for briefing to Parliament Speaker Ali Abdul Aal, addressing whether he ordered Minister of Agriculture Ezz El-Din Abu Stiet to oversee the vaccination of the dogs, so they would not harm citizens.
On Sunday, The Agriculture Ministry spokesperson denied rumors that Egypt plans to export stray dogs or cats, adding that animals which leave the country are subjected to a set of strict rules.
The Agriculture Ministry does not import or export dogs or cats, but applies some measures on animals that accompany travelers who are coming to or leaving Egypt, Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Hamed Abdel Dayem clarified in a phone interview on the al-Hadath al-Youm channel, on Sunday evening.
Claims that Egypt intends to export stray dogs or cats to countries that will eat them, he reiterated, are baseless. He asserted that social media users unintentionally tarnish Egypt’s reputation by circulating these rumors.
MP Nadia Henry submitted an urgent request to the parliament speaker on Saturday to prepare a bill that criminalizes the export of dogs and cats outside Egypt.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm. Photo credit to Güldem Üstün.