Saudi animal-lovers find ‘purrfect’ feeding solution for city’s hungry stray cats

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Alkhobar municipality has launched its Food of Mercy initiative to feed the cats and other animals on the waterfront, Municipality leader, Eng. Sultan Al-Zaidi (top right), told Arab News. (Supplied)
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Alkhobar municipality has launched its Food of Mercy initiative to feed the cats and other animals on the waterfront. (Supplied)
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Alkhobar municipality has launched its Food of Mercy initiative to feed the cats and other animals on the waterfront. (Supplied)
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Updated 30 April 2020

Saudi animal-lovers find ‘purrfect’ feeding solution for city’s hungry stray cats

  • Alkhobar municipality has launched its Food of Mercy initiative to feed the cats and other animals on the waterfront

JEDDAH: Animal-lovers in a Saudi city have come up with the purrfect solution for feeding hungry stray cats during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Feral felines on Alkhobar’s corniche used to live off food from visitors, but due to restrictions on movement introduced to stop the spread of the deadly virus, the area has become almost deserted and scraps have been scarce.

But with the backing of caring residents, Alkhobar municipality has launched its Food of Mercy initiative to feed the cats and other animals on the waterfront.

Municipality leader, Eng. Sultan Al-Zaidi, told Arab News: “The initiative comes in compliance with the merciful teachings of Islam that demand us to show mercy to all living creatures. Taking good care of animals and treating them well is a noble Islamic principle.”

He said cats on the corniche had relied on food given to them by people visiting the area, but COVID-19 preventive regulations had forced trippers to stay at home leaving the strays to go hungry.

“The precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have included the closure of restaurants, which has also added to the struggle of these animals in finding a source of food. So, this initiative will help these cats survive.

“On a small budget, we have done a good job. In different locations along the seafront we have installed more than 60 food and water tubes to feed stray cats and to provide them with the dry meals they need to survive,” Al-Zaidi added.

He denied claims that some animals had been found dead on the seafront, and said the project was “a gesture of humanity after the coronavirus affected the source of food these animals have depended on for a long time.”

Local residents have contacted the municipality to volunteer their support for the initiative which Al-Zaidi said could continue once the health crisis was over “due to its positive returns.”

He noted that animal protection organizations, including the Humane Society of Saudi Arabia (Rifq) and the Saudi Society for Animal Welfare, along with citizens, officials, social media users, and private bodies had shown their appreciation for the initiative.

Animal abuse and mistreatment is a criminal offence in Saudi Arabia. In October 2019, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture fined 28 offenders a total of SR1.76 million ($470,000) for animal cruelty and food-health violations which took place between June and August of that year.


Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

King Salman chairs the virtual meeting. (SPA)
Updated 30 September 2020

Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

  • King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday congratulated the Presidency of State Security for its work in identifying and apprehending the suspected members of a terror cell in the Kingdom.

Some of those who were arrested allegedly trained at sites in Iran run by the country’s Revolutionary Guards. A cache of weapons and explosives was also seized.

Ministers expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the presidency’s employees in tracking down those who threaten the security and stability of the Kingdom and the safety of those who live there.

Majid Al-Qasabi, the acting minister of media, said that while reviewing the latest regional and international developments, cabinet members reiterated the Kingdom’s call during the recent International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference for the international community to adopt a firm stance on Iran, and take steps to address its violations of international agreements relating to its nuclear-research program. They also reaffirmed Saudi support for efforts, in partnership with the international community, to make the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone.

The virtual meeting was chaired by King Salman, who began by passing on his condolences and sympathy to the people of Kuwait and the family of its Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who died on Tuesday. He also congratulated the emir’s successor, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day. He also briefed ministers on his recent telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and discussed opportunities to further develop them.

The cabinet commended the king for his speech during the UN’s 75th General Assembly in New York, during which he emphasized the his country’s continued commitment to assisting the international community in efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and address its humanitarian and economic implications.

Ministers also noted that his speech reflected the Kingdom’s dedication to security, stability and prosperity as a strategic choice, its call for peaceful coexistence, moderation and solidarity among all countries and peoples to address humanitarian challenges, its support for political solutions to conflicts, and its efforts to combat extremism in all its forms.

Al-Qasabi said that the Cabinet welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom that the G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place as planned as scheduled on Nov. 21 and 22, albeit virtually as a result of the pandemic. Saudi Arabia hold the presidency of the G20 this year.

Ministers also expressed their appreciation for international efforts, led by G20 countries, that have resulted in the provision of more than $21 billion to support the production of diagnostic and therapeutic tools during the pandemic, and the development and distribution of vaccines. In addition, more than $11 trillion has been allocated to protect the global economy, and more than $14 billion to mitigate the debt burdens of less-developed countries and help fund their health services and social programs. The Cabinet also reviewed the latest local and international developments in the pandemic, along with preparations for the safe resumption of Umrah.

Ministers reiterated the Saudi call, during an emergency meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for Environmental Affairs, for urgent action to avoid an environmental catastrophe in the Red Sea as a result of the deteriorating condition of the oil tanker Safer, which has been anchored off the coast of Yemen, near Ras Issa port, since 2015.

The Cabinet also expressed its concern over developments in the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and urged both sides to agree a ceasefire and resolve the conflict peacefully in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.