How long can you stay in a filthy house where you cannot even move your body and have no food or drinks in 40 degree temperatures (without AC)? There are hundreds of animals and birds left outside each afternoon and night in those conditions at the Animal Souq at Souq Waqif.
Even in the summer months, animal traders at the Animal Souq keep animals outside to attract buyers by letting them touch the animals and taking pictures.
Different people on social media have been asking the Souq to wake up and for the government to change the situation. Comparing the situation to a year ago, we can see that some improvements have been made, however, we’re asking that they do more.
A lot of animals are kept in small jam-packed cages, often with so little space that they can’t even turn around or sit up without bending their necks. I went inside of a pet shop and found the husky in a small cage unable to stretch his legs.
I asked a staff to let him out for a while and he closed the door of the shop and opened the cage. The dog started sniffing everywhere and visiting his ‘’neighbors’’ saying hi. I asked if they sometimes take the dogs out and he replied, ‘’No, we cannot take dogs for a walk because the Souq doesn’t allow. So we only let them walk for 10-15min in the shop’’. The husky seemed to enjoy exploring the 2m x2m squre space for 5min and he was put back in his small cage again.
I left the shop hoping all the animals there can find a forever home and be part of a nice family.
I started walking around the area and noticed that a lot of cages had no water even though it was 38 degree outside.
Obviously, the animals and birds looked unhealthy and some of them were almost dying. I told one of the staff to give water to those that don’t have it and he took a small water container from another cage and put it to the one I was pointed at. The bunnies started drinking the water as if they haven’t had a drink in ages.
I don’t know whether it’s lack of awareness or caring but this level of negligence cannot be alright. I still remember the day I first visited to the Animal Souq 4 years ago and saw the colored chicks and bunnies everywhere. It was sad to see.
The same sight is now in front of me.
So what can be done? I think that they should police the area and fine those who violate basic rules. A minimum amount of space is needed, regular walking, air conditioned space, ensuring they are fed on time, and that all the animals sold, have had the necessary medical checks as well as vaccinations.
One Muslim man taught me great stories the other day, ‘‘some people treat animals very badly and it is definitely an inhumanity act and also in Islam, it is unacceptable that people don’t take care of animals. They are God’s creation. The story goes that a man went to heaven because when he was in the desert he saw a dog that was very poor and he gave the water he had to the dog even before he had a sip. This one kind act deserves entry to heaven. There was another lady who prayed and acted religiously, however she was punished because she used to beat her cat. All animals have to be respected because God made them. ‘’ he said. He also continued, ‘’some say nejas (dirty) dogs shouldn’t be brought into the house. So if your animal is going to be left outside, then you need to do the basics, like building a dog house with air conditioning. Would you let your family stay outside in the heat? No you wouldn’t. We need to respect and good take care of God’s creation and make an environment both of us can live comfortably and happily”, he smiled and sipped some tea. He told me Islamic perspective, which I didn’t know, and it was a very heartfelt moment.
A lot of people say ‘’Shut the Animal Souq down!’’ but people work there and it is the way that they make their living. Instead of shutting it down, train them, make rules, and put a supervisor. There are many ways we can make the situation better.
Follow us on our social media channels:
If you have anything you want to share with us, send us an e-mail at [email protected]!
Want to send a tip? Drop us an e-mail at [email protected], anonymity is guaranteed!
You have successfully registered your account!Please confirm your e-mail address by clicking on the URL sent to you.The e-mail usually arrives in 5-10 minutes.
How ajeeb was that!? Thanks for contributing to our community! Your post will appear after we take a quick look!