Outrage in Qatar over shooting of 29 dogs as it prepares for World Cup

World Cup host country Qatar has triggered outrage after the slaughter of 29 dogs by men armed with rifles.

The police are currently investigating the shooting, authorities say, in what is the worst case of dog brutality among a series of cruelty cases.

Despite this, they face criticism from animal welfare activists who say laws regarding the defence of domestic animals such as dogs are not being enforced.

The latest killings took place near Doha on 10 July at an industrial compound, but the reporting of the incident only occurred days later.

Four men, two armed with hunting rifles, opened fire on the dogs after threatening guards at the factory, killing 29 dogs and puppies.

At least three others were wounded, including two in the late stages of pregnancy.

An activist said the men "started shooting at random" after the dogs approached them.

Authorities say they have identified some key suspects, without giving any further details.

The motive behind the attack remains unclear, but it is believed that dogs have long been a target in the state due to some believing the animals are considered "unclean" by Islam.

In a statement on their Instagram account, Paws Rescue Qatar commented: "There seems to be no law enforced, that means these monsters will be never brought to justice."

While Qatari authorities have not publicly commented on the case, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, sister of the Qatari ruler, deemed the attack "unacceptable" in a post on social media.

Authorities have rounded up the dogs held in the industrial compound since the slaughter and taken them to a government-run shelter where around 3,000 dogs are believed to be held, activists say.