Leading international animal welfare charity says it is “close to a resolution” with the Egyptian government over its policy to shoot stray dogs

Animal welfare charity The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), which has its headquarters in Britain, says it has achieved a breakthrough with the Egyptian government in its efforts to stop the mass slaughter of stray dogs on the streets of Cairo.

The charity has agreed a “memorandum of understanding” with Cairo after fierce campaigning and “difficult negotiations”.

The WSPA wants the Egyptians to implement a five-year plan, which would include humane euthanasia, and a neutering and vaccination programme.

The society’s says on most evenings, government-employed dog control officers armed with shotguns randomly shoot dogs in the streets. It says some passers-by have been injured by stray bullets.

The gunmen reportedly only have one cartridgeper dog, so many of the dogs are not killed instantly and are left to die slowly.

Joy Leney, WSPA’s regional director for Europe and Asia, has witnessed the shootings. “In one street, a mother was shot dead in front of her pup, which screamed in fright and ran off. When the pup eventually crawled back to sniff at the body, the gunmen shot him at point blank range,” she said.

“This indiscriminate shooting of dogs is not only incredibly cruel, but also totally ineffective. The number ofstray dogs in Cairo is continuing to escalate.”

More than 90% of Cairo’s 1.5 million dogs are estimated to be strays. The WSPA says that more than 10,000 strays are killed on the streets each year.

The society says it will donate supplies to put its suggested programme into action.

For more information visit www.wspa.org.uk