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UAE: Mass dumping of dead cats in Abu Dhabi prompts investigation

More than 50 bodies of cats and 80 in critical condition were discovered in the Emirati desert, most of which had been microchipped and neutered
Over 50 dead cats and 80 malnourished felines were found in the Al-Falah area of Abu Dhabi on 29 September (AFP)

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates launched an investigation on Wednesday after over 100 cats, many of them dead, were found dumped in an Abu Dhabi desert. 

Last week, animal rescuers discovered more than 50 dead cats, and around 80 that were still alive but in critical condition, in the Al-Falah area of the Emirati capital. 

The vast majority of the cats had been microchipped and neutered, according to a report by Al-Arabiya. 

Abu Dhabi's Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) said that it had launched a probe. 

"Investigations are still underway in coordination with the relevant authorities to identify perpetrators of this inhumane act, which contradicts civilized morals and values," it said in a statement on Wednesday.

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It added that it had recognised the contribution of the public and volunteers in responding to the incident, and urged anyone with information to share it with the authorities. 

The desert area where the cats were dumped is near the Falcon Hospital, where stray cats are often taken by pest control to be checked for disease and neutered. 

"Almost all of the cats had been microchipped and had been neutered, some of them not even two weeks earlier, as surgical stitches were clearly visible," said the Milan-based International Organisation for Animal Protection (OIPA) in a statement. 

It added that it presumed the cats had been taken to Falcon Hospital for trap, neuter, release (TNR) programmes, but that there was no evidence yet if they were dumped intentionally.

"Sentencing innocent animals to death in such a tremendous way is ethically unacceptable," the animal rights group said.

"We shouldn’t forget that the cruel and inhumane practice of dumping animals in the desert is a systematic method of animal population control carried out in the UAE."

According to OIPA, a number of dogs were also found dumped in the desert. 

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