BEIRUT — A video surfaced of dog being burned alive by a man in Baalbeck on Sunday, sparking backlash and prompting animal rights NGO BETA to alert the governor of Baalbeck-Hermel, Bashir Khodr, to take the necessary measures.
A video posted by BETA on Facebook shows the dog being burned alive in a room with no exit. The abuser was identified under the pseudonym of A.G.R, BETA added. Contacted by L'Orient-Le Jour, activist and BETA member, Helena Husseini, lamented that "violence against animals has increased over the past three years, since the beginning of the economic crisis in the country."
"The number of abandoned animals is also on the rise, as many people are no longer able to feed and care for them," she added. Husseini said that the NGO will continue to defend animals although the complaints filed "are slow to succeed in Lebanon."
Baalbeck governor Bashir Khodr tweeted Monday that the crime occurred in the village of Joubaniyeh. The governor also said he notified the Internal Security Forces (ISF) and the public prosecutor for environmental affairs in the Bekaa of the incident, so that the attacker would be prosecuted. Khodr called for an end to such violent practices.
Khodr indicated that a warrant was issued against the attacker by the Prosecutor General, adding that the father of the criminal was investigated by the ISF.
Cases of animal abuse are not new in the country. In August 2017, a groundbreaking law on animal protection was approved. The text sets rules on the possession of domestic animals, as well as regulations for zoos and pet shops, and prohibits the possession of wild or endangered animals. But the law's application by the authorities, often accused of laxity, remains a challenge. There have been a few victories for animal advocates, however. In 2018, a man who tortured dogs was sentenced to a prison term.