Middle East

Video of drive-by cat killings in Saudi Arabia leads to outrage, arrest

Video that surfaced online showing a man shooting and killing cats in Saudi Arabia -- gaining the attention of an emir in the Kingdom -- led to an arrest on Thursday.

The suspect, a 26-year-old man, was accused in the drive-by killing of at least three cats in Jidda Wednesday, The New York Times reported. The man was arrested Thursday.

The video was posted to Snapchat, showing a man using a rifle to shoot the cats, the BBC reported Wednesday.

The video prompted online anger, with tens of thousands calling for the "cat butcher" to be held to account, the BBC reported.

In the video, the cats are shown writhing in pain after being shot.

The man applied a Snapchat cat filter to his face in the video, according to the BBC. He was quoted as saying in the video this was "the price for four car washes."

The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture issued a statement Wednesday condemning the killings following the social media outcry, the Times reported.

“The ministry confirms that this horrendous act is against the teachings of Islam that call for animal welfare, and it is also against the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council,” the ministry said.

The emir of Jidda also urged the authorities to investigate, according to the paper.

The man was released on bail, the paper reported.

According to local media reports, the man’s family was offered police protection in response to threats from outraged neighbors, some of whom defaced the family’s cars, The Times reported.