Social media and Internet users in Lebanon expressed outrage and frustration on Friday over an online video that depicts a Lebanese youth putting a cat in a microwave and turning it on for several seconds.

“Idiot thought it was a nice joke to put a CAT in the MICROWAVE! Someone should put you in it and then we’ll see how funny things will get you asshole!’ said one Facebook user. Some couldn’t bring themselves to watch the video: “Did he turn on the microwave ? I dont want to watch it live !cant stand !” commented another Facebook user.

Even comedian Nemr Abou Nassar and “singer” Myriam Klink, two figures known for their infamous public rivalry, were in agreement that such an act was unacceptable, Abou Nassar urging the offender to apologize and make amends, while Klink, like many, boiled with digital rage.

The person filming the video jokingly refers to his friend as a “criminal" as the youth is seen putting the cat into the microwave and taking the animal out several seconds later. The health of the cat remains unknown, though it is visibly agitated in the video, which has since been removed from Facebook.

(A screenshot taken from the Facebook video shows a Lebanese youth putting a cat into the microwave.)

“There is currently no law in Lebanon to protect animals,” says Youssef Karaki of animal rights NGO Animals Lebanon, who have yet to make any official statements on the video through their social media networks in order to avoid giving those behind it more exposure and inspiring other abusers.

Michelle Matta, a spokesperson for Animals Lebanon, explains that according to current laws, intervening to prevent animal abuse would in fact cast you as the lawbreaker, as authorities can and do take action against those who get involved in attempts to stop animal cruelty for interfering with people’s private affairs or trespassing on private property.

Last year, Animals Lebanon launched a petition for the enactment of a Lebanese animal cruelty law, reaching their goal of 25,000 signatures in September 2012, and the signatures are still coming in.

The draft of the law was presented to President Michel Sleiman, then-Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Speaker Nabih Berri and the caretaker Minister of Agriculture, Hussein Hajj-Hasan. All was in order and set to be presented to the Council of Ministers for approval. Further action regarding the draft has been put on indefinite hold.

Regarding the case of the microwaved cat, Rana, a spokesperson from Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA), another animal rights NGO, said that they are in the process on taking action, “doing it in a smart way”, and tracking down all those involved in the incident.

(Photo via Animals Lebanon.)

One cannot help but recall yet another animal abuse incident that occurred last year on Beirut’s Corniche, which also sparked outrage from the public and animal rights activists. Whiskey, a dog taken out for a walk by a friend of the owner, was shot 12 times in broad daylight on the Corniche by a man who feared the animal would attack him and his daughter.

No charges were pressed against the shooter. One year later, and still no laws to turn to, the boy who microwaved a cat may be nothing more than yet another of Lebanon's unpunished animal abusers. Whether the social media uproar being witnessed could influence any change to the status quo remains to be seen.

After this story was first published, the youth filming the video, identified as Mohammad Jallad, posted an apology via Nassar's Facebook page. You can read it here.

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