Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dangers associated with carcasses on roadsides in Saudi Arabia

Users of the highways have complained about a huge number of carcasses which are either dumped or left behind on the roadsides all around the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The bodies of the animals are normally thrown near the highway by their owners in blatant disregard to the serious impact it can have on the environment. The news was initially reported by the Al Riyadh daily. Additionally, Islam has urged all people to remove any harm from the roads. It is completely irresponsible to leave the carcasses near the highways and the electricity and telecommunication towers.

The act itself is giving the Kingdom a very negative image, as the carcasses are usually seen by people visiting the Kingdom, frequently along the highways which link one city to the neighboring cities, or the country with the neighboring countries. Due to the horrible smell given out by the carcasses, they also attract black kites and stray dogs. There have been several reports of accidents being caused by the kites and dogs which take the drivers by surprise and cause them to swerve off the road. Several cattle owners have also told the Al Riyadh daily that some of the owners dump the carcasses at the nearest public place due to the fact that the animal had become infected with a virus. They states that is a carcass is not removed from amongst the herd quickly; the other cattle can also contract the same disease.

AbdulAziz Al Habdan, the director of the Al Asiah Governorate Municipal Office has heavily criticized the act and has described it as savage and uncivilized. He added that they have provided 17 huge containers for the carcasses which are located all over the governorate. Apparently there are some cattle owners which prefer to take this short cut and just dump the dead animals on the roadside.  It is an irresponsible act. There are several toll free numbers which can be called to report a carcass. The municipality will send a team which is equipped with the gear and knowledge of how to get rid of the carcass safely, prior to any negative effects occurring because of it.

Al Habdan has blamed the expatriate shepherds for such actions and stated that they were the ones involved in dumping the carcasses. Ali Al Zaid, a government official has stated that the authorities should slap a heavy fine on the violators as it was the only way to end the practice. Dumping the carcasses causes a spread of the common diseases which affect both animals and humans. Al Zaid has also called upon the Mosque Imams to educate the people, especially those who own cattle, about the dire consequences of this irresponsible act.

Rakan Al Harbi, the director of the Agriculture Ministry branch in the governorate has stated that dumping these carcasses could cause catastrophic effects to the environment. The carcasses can be burned or buried properly. He has called upon the shepherds and cattle owners to educate themselves on the correct and safe way to get rid of animal carcasses and the importance of reporting the carcass to the specialized teams.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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