Monday, May 04, 2009

Swine Flu: Egyptian pig farmers stone riot police over pig slaughter

AFP reports Egyptian riot police clashed on Sunday with stone-throwing pig farmers who were trying to prevent their animals being taken away for slaughter as part of a mass nationwide cull.

Between 300 and 400 residents of the hilly Moqattam slum district of Cairo, where mostly Coptic Christian scrap merchants raise pigs, hurled stones and bottles at police.

Anti-riot police replied by firing rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, most of them youths.

They want to steal our livelihood," protested one of the farmers, Adel Izhak, before police started to take control of the district.

Egypt's pigs mostly belong to and are eaten by members of Egypt's Coptic Christian minority and are reared by rubbish collectors in Cairo's shantytowns. Islam bans the consumption of pork for the majority Muslims.

Egyptian animal rights activist Amina Abaza deplored the slaughter of pigs and said the decision to cull them was probably taken only because they belong to the Copts.
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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