The Public Prosecutor at the Court of First Instance in Safi will take on the case, which is the first of its kind in the Moroccan judicial system.
Rabat – International NGO for animal protection “Comme Chat et Chien” (“Like Cat and Dog”) has filed a complaint against a man who intentionally burned and killed at least 25 cats in Safi, a port city in western Morocco on the Atlantic ocean. Several other cats were injured.
The heinous incident occured on May 6, when a man intentionally started the fire as a reaction to a confrontation with one of the women responsible for feeding the cats.
Youssra El Hachimi, the Secretary-General of “Comme Chat et Chien” told Morocco World News that the confrontation was sparked when one of the women discovered that the man had been ordering his dog to attack the cats.
The woman knew that the dog used to come to the same place to attack the cats because she noticed on multiple occasions that many of the cats had several injuries. While feeding the cats, she would also sometimes discover that some of them had been killed.
On the day the dog attacked the cats while she was present, the woman, in an effort to defend the cats under her care, started to shout and threw at the dog whatever she could reach to stop it from hurting the cats.
The dog’s owner then came up and confronted her. “He asked her why she was attacking his dog,” El Hachimi explained.
“When the man then attempted to attack her, she ran to her car and called the police,” El Hachimi said.
A law enforcement vehicle subsequently showed up, and the woman hurried to tell them what had happened.
“The man then hid himself, waiting for the police to go so he could attack the woman. He crashed a part of her car to take revenge,” El Hachimi added.
The secretary-general of the NGO added that the case took a serious dimension when the man went to the cats’ shelters and set fire to the place, killing dozens of cats and injuring others.
Shocked by the act, the NGO decided to urge its lawyer to file a complaint against the man, emphasizing that torturing animals is a crime.
Safi’s Court of First Instance validated the complaint. Following the court’s decision to further investigate the incident, the case will be the first time for a Moroccan court to criminalize animal abuse and torture.
“We have a competent lawyer that will take the necessary measures for the perpetrator to be convicted for what he did,” El Hachimi said.
She added that Morocco does have a law to defend animals from torture and abuse, but it is “unfortunately forgotten” since it is not commonly used.
El Hachimi promises that her NGO will capitalize on this case to campaign for the respect of animals’ rights. She said they will from now do their best to make the law applicable to hold the man responsible for the fire against the cats accountable for his crime.
The NGO also launched a petition to condemn the “shocking” act.