Stray Dog Poisoning in Beirut’s Southern Suburbs Sparks Outcry

Dogs relax at the luxury dog hotel Critterati in Gurgaon, India. AFP file photo
Dogs relax at the luxury dog hotel Critterati in Gurgaon, India. AFP file photo
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Stray Dog Poisoning in Beirut’s Southern Suburbs Sparks Outcry

Dogs relax at the luxury dog hotel Critterati in Gurgaon, India. AFP file photo
Dogs relax at the luxury dog hotel Critterati in Gurgaon, India. AFP file photo

Video footage of stray dogs being poisoned by municipal staff in the Ghobeiry neighborhood of Beirut’s southern suburbs has sparked a public outcry in Lebanon.

The video shows the dogs lying on their sides near a bowl of food shaking uncontrollably and frothing at the mouth.

A municipal employee is then seen picking up their bodies and throwing them on the back of a pickup.

Ghobeiry municipality, which lies in the Hezbollah stronghold, said it had suspended several staff members and opened a disciplinary investigation but denied any responsibility.

"This is an isolated villainous and reprehensible act carried out on the personal initiative of a number of health department staff," it said.

Welfare organization Animals Lebanon, which posted the video, said it was seeking action from the government.

"This sickening level of abuse, torture, suffering and complete disregard for life and law is absolutely shocking," it said.

"We are communicating now with the minister of interior (Nohad al-Mashnouq) to condemn such action and officially notify all municipalities that this is illegal and unacceptable," the statement added.

Following the public outcry, the interior minister said that he had ordered an inquiry into the actions of the municipality.



Heat Wave in Greece Halts Visits to Acropolis

Tourists take a selfie in front of the Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill during a heatwave, in Athens, Greece, 11 June 2024. EPA/KOSTAS TSIRONIS
Tourists take a selfie in front of the Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill during a heatwave, in Athens, Greece, 11 June 2024. EPA/KOSTAS TSIRONIS
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Heat Wave in Greece Halts Visits to Acropolis

Tourists take a selfie in front of the Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill during a heatwave, in Athens, Greece, 11 June 2024. EPA/KOSTAS TSIRONIS
Tourists take a selfie in front of the Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill during a heatwave, in Athens, Greece, 11 June 2024. EPA/KOSTAS TSIRONIS

Authorities in Athens announced on Wednesday the closure of the Acropolis for five hours due to heat wave temperatures that also prompted many schools to close.
The ancient site in the Greek capital — which drew nearly 4 million visitors last year — was closed from midday till 5 p.m. as the temperature was set to reach 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit), The Associated Press reported.
Elementary schools and preschool classes were also canceled in parts of southern and central Greece where the temperatures were highest.
City authorities announced that garbage collection would also be halted for several hours Wednesday and that seven air-conditioned spaces would be opened to the public. Drones with thermal cameras were being used in Athens to coordinate the public health response, officials said.
Cooler weather is expected late Friday.

Greece is one of the most climate-impacted countries in Europe. Last year, rising temperatures fuelled deadly wildfires and erratic rains caused some of the worst flooding on record, both of which damaged crops and livelihoods.
Last winter was the hottest on record and rainfall was low, creating the conditions for more fires, scientists say.
Similar conditions were seen last year across much of southern Europe, including Portugal, France, Spain and Italy where fires caused dozens of deaths.
In Greece, fires began earlier than expected this year, including one in March.