Egypt: YouTube clip of pig cull sparks outrage

18-05-2009 | |

A YouTube video clip showing pigs being culled in Egypt as part of swine flu measures has caused outrage at the apparent barbarity of the method of slaughtering the animals.

The clip has sparked horrified reactions from Muslims and from the Christian Copt community, who are the main rearers of pigs in Egypt. Egypt is the only country in the world to have decided to kill all its pigs, against the advice of the World Health Organisation.

In the video, Mohamed el-Mugharbil, deputy mayor of Kashkus near Cairo, describes how chemicals are also poured on animals caged in lorries, leading to a slow death.

Ali Shaaban, head of the site where the corpses are buried, confirms the method. “The pigs are covered with chemical products and left for 30 or 40 minutes until they are dead, then we throw them in the ditch.”

The agriculture ministry denied the animals are killed with chemicals. “These are disinfectants. The throats of the animals are slit before they are buried,” Saber Abdel Aziz Galal, head of the department of infectious diseases, told AFP.

An online petition calling on the Egyptian government to end the “senseless slaughter” has been launched on

The slaughter caused controversy from its start on 3 May, when riot police clashed with stone-throwing pig farmers trying to prevent their animals from being taken away.

The authorities have said it will take six months to complete the slaughter and announced plans to import three machines to boost culling capacity to 3,000 animals a day.

More about