An Egyptian member of parliament said on record that Egypt should export dog meat to alleviate the overpopulation of stray dogs in Egypt.

Margaret Azer, a deputy of the human rights committee in the Egyptian parliament, suggested the country should send meat sourced from dogs to countries such as South Korea to solve the problem of Egypt’s overwhelming stray dog numbers. Azer spoke to the press and said that her suggestion is a more humane way to get rid of dogs, Egypt Independent reported.

Azer believes that the move could also be beneficial from an economic standpoint. She suggested dogs be exported for five Egyptian Pounds (US$0.28) each after being nurtured on farms. She told Youm7 the countries that will import them will view the dogs to be as valuable as sheep are in Egypt.

In 2007, the Egyptian government issued a Fatwa (Islamic legal decree) that permitted the culling of harmful dogs. The decree was further encouraged when the governor of Egypt’s Red Sea state offered 100 Egyptian pounds for every five dogs captured in 2017.

Mona Khalil, an animal rights activist, expressed her shock at the suggestions, saying that in ancient Egypt animals were considered sacred. She argued for a more scientific and humane solution to be sought.

There are around 22 million stray dogs in Egypt. At the moment, they are culled by being poisoned and being shot in the streets.

East Asian countries still lead global figures in terms of dog meat consumption. South Korea, Vietnam and China are some of the largest consumers in the world, with China leading with 20 million dogs consumed a year. Vietnam sees 5 million dogs butchered for consumption. Recently, Indonesia has also been put in the spotlight, as Indonesian migrants are being found consuming dog meat in countries where they work.