Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel recently found himself enamored of a boneheaded idea for dealing with his country’s stray dog problem.
His idea, in a nutshell: Send ’em somewhere else!
Actually, that’s not just his idea in a nutshell, that’s his idea in its entirety. He wants to solve the problem of stray dogs and cats by sending those stray dogs and cats to other countries.
Stray problem solved!
But, you might be thinking: Where is the money going to come from, to send all of these thousands of dog and cats to some other country … thattaway?
The agriculture minister has your answer: You know all that money in the budget for spaying and neutering stray dogs and cats? Let’s use that.
He detailed his plan in a letter to a colleague, and it was leaked to the press, according to Reuters. He wrote, “Use the budget to transfer stray dogs and/or cats of one gender (all the males or all the females) to a foreign nation that will agree to accept them.”
Fortunately, his proposal was rejected, animal activists criticized him, and local politicians made fun of him, which is always a nice thing to see.
“No way am I going to apply for a foreign passport for Pitzkeleh,” tweeted former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, referring to her kitty.
As outrage over his plan grew, Ariel softened his stance.
“Kindly place the cats’ visas back in your pockets, we are not flying them anywhere,” he said at a conference of kibbutz leaders in Maaleh Hahamisha, west of Jerusalem, according to Israel national news site Arutz Sheva.
But the fact remains that Ariel opposes spaying and neutering strays because he believes it violates the Jewish precept of avoiding tza’ar ba’aley hayim, or cruelty to animals.
“We have made an effort to avoid tza’ar ba’aley hayim as much as possible, and we are looking for other ways not to neuter and spay them, which constitutes tza’ar ba’aley hayim in and of itself,” he told Arutz Sheva.
He is also against ear clipping to indicate an animal has been sterilized. “I deal with the issue of not causing pain to animals no less, and possibly more, than previous ministers of agriculture,” he says.
According to Arutz Sheva, there is currently a NIS 4.5 million budget allotted to spaying and neutering street animals. Let’s hope nobody else gets a boneheaded idea to use it for something else.
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