BEIRUT: The Beirut governor Thursday banned the selling of chicks commonly sold by street vendors to children around Easter time, in a decision long sought after by animal rights groups.
“In an effort to protect children and animals alike, Governor of Beirut Judge Ziad Chebib issued a decision forbidding the selling of chicks, particularly colored chicks, in Beirut,” the governor announced on his Facebook page.
Offering colored chicks to children as toys on Easter is a widespread trend in Lebanon despite facing fierce opposition by animal rights group.
Chicks are colored with mostly blue, red, pink or orange dye, and then sold to children for about $1, explained Jason Mier, Executive Director of Animals Lebanon.
Mier said the decision is a victory for his group, which has been working on the decision with the Beirut governor and municipality for more than a year.
The majority of the chicks live very short lives after being sold, both due to the effect of chemicals inside the dye, and because of maltreatment and negligence by the children.
However, many of them survive, which causes other troubles.
“Two or three weeks after Easter, we start receiving calls from people complaining about finding roosters in their parking lots,” Mier explained.
He explained that although an animal protection bill approved by the Cabinet in February had already banned practices similar practices, the governor’s decree particularly targeted the Easter chick industry.