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Update on Animal Market in Kuwait

From the Kuwait edition of the Arab Times today:

Confusion on closure of animal market, need seen to set minimum standards

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 2: Conflicting reports to the Arab Times caused confusion about the shut down of Al Rai animal market. News reports said that the animals were kept as hostages within the stalls to “starve to death”.

Ayesha Al-Humaidhi, from Animal Friends League of Kuwait, assured that shopkeepers do have access to the shops and tend to their animals. “They do enter their shops and do conduct their business, but they can’t run their business openly until they settle the rent dispute with the Municipality,” she said. Al-Humaidhi explained that a number of her friends have gone to Al Rai area and had either purchased animals or animal related products. “It’s logical that if proprietors can access their shops to serve customers, they can enter the same shops to feed their animals,” she explained. She, however, pointed out that if animals kept in the stalls are lacking anything, it would be a proper flow of air.

“My friends told me that birds were the main sufferers, and that is only because of the way they are kept by the shopkeepers. “Up to 50 birds are put in one small cage which causes a relatively higher death rate amongst birds compared to other animals under normal conditions. Slower air flow had cast its toll on the poor birds,” she added.

Al-Humaidhi affirmed that the conditions in which these animals are kept were “hellish to start with”. “The shutting down of these stalls has made it worse. “However, there is a dire need to set minimal standards for shopkeepers to abide by when tending to their animals. “It’s inevitable from the reckless way these shopkeepers tend to their animals that they would not even feed them if they had no market,” she said.

Meanwhile Abu Sulaiman Al-Hadad, one of the shopkeepers, claimed that he, along with other proprietors, have not accessed their shops since these were shut down on Oct 15. “My animals have been imprisoned for more than two weeks and have all died from starvation,” he complained. Asked if he had entered his shop at all during this period he said it’s “impossible”. “If any of us is caught entering a shop we’d be obliged to pay a fine of KD 500, along with other legal action,” Al-Hadad said.

Al-Hadad said that shopkeepers have been selling some of their shop items which they managed to pick before the Municipality shut the shops. Asked about measures taken by him and or other proprietor to “rescue” their businesses and animals, Al-Hadad informed the Arab Times that a law suit has been filed to the Administrative Court. “No one knows how long it will take to be finalized. Our animals have long since choked to death,” he said.

By Dahlia Kholaif
Arab Times Staff

It seems some of the shopkeepers are keeping this story going.

November 3, 2009 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, News, Social Issues | 2 Comments