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A hospital for falcons opens at Souq Waqif
A state-of-the-art veterinary hospital dedicated to the treatment of falcons, the first of its kind in Qatar, was officially launched yesterday at Souq Waqif.
Minister of Environment HE Abdullah bin Mubarak bin Aaboud al-Midhadhi opened the hospital and pointed out the importance of the project’s location at the leading heritage site. “It highlights falconry as a cultural hobby,” he said.
The hospital’s manager Faisal Ali al-Ali al-Maadid said it was the first hospital of its kind in Qatar, in terms of its size and equipment. He said that it offered pre-purchase medical advice, which guaranteed a good deal for falconers.
Al-Maadid said that the hospital’s staff were highly trained, and included technicians specialised in the treatment of falcons’ diseases, surgery and early diagnosis.
He said the hospital would provide routine medical check-ups. The services also include live broadcast of surgery to the bird’s owners.
“The cost of the services would be nominal”, he said.
A veterinarian at the clinic claimed that the hospital received during the first week more than 350 falcons for regular medical check-ups or treatment.
Doctor Ikdam said that the hospital’s equipment were sophisticated and included modern devices for diagnosis, sex determination and to find out the meat eaten by the falcon.
Animal department director Kassem al-Kahtani said that the Falcon Hospital will reduce his department’s burden in terms of providing the right treatment to the prized birds.
According to him, the hospital would be directed by the Special Engineering Office at the Emiri Diwan.
He stressed that every falcon departing or arriving in Qatar should have a passport and a health certificate, to prevent bird flu from spreading in the region.
Qatar became the second country in the world, after the UAE, to issue passports to falcons some four years ago.
The registration and issue of passports was done with a view to keeping track of the country’s falcon stock and also to fulfil its obligation as a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
According to rough estimates, there are some 3,000 falcons in Qatar owned by some 2,000 people.