At Doha Animal Market, besides thousands of sheep, goats, cattle and camels, rabbits and poultry of all kinds are sold. When we visited the market for the first time in 2015, we were shocked by the miserable keeping conditions for the animals. In the dirty and often overcrowded cages we found countless dead, moribund or sick animals. Cages with birds and rabbits stood in the sun and often the animals did not get any water or only in completely feculent containers. We submitted complaints to the ministry, designed animal protection leaflets for the rabbit and poultry traders, checked this area again and again and tried to educate and sensitize the traders. Since then many things have improved, the condition of the animals, the cleanliness, there are no more cages standing outside air-conditioned rooms and the traders know that they have to give the animals water regularly.
But, for example, the cages where quails are kept are still overcrowded and we still find injured animals. Amir is one of them. The little bird has large hardened lumps of dried manure on its claws, so he could no longer stand or walk. He no longer has feathers on his back. Painstakingly and carefullly we scrape off the lumps, free Amir's claws and wash him. One claw is swollen, deformed and has a purulent wound. At first, Amir hardly moves, but when we visit him two days later, he is alert and runs and jumps around when we are allowed to get him out of his cage for a while. Meanwhile the traders are happy when we come and we hope that we could move their minds and hearts.