Princes usually are thought of as riding on a white horse. However, this prince is standing up for the neglected steeds that work in Petra.
Tourists from all over the world flood the beautiful city of Petra, the Red Rose City, to take in the stunning rock architecture. With the influx in people, came horse-drawn carriages to transport the visitors. Prince Khaled Bin Alwaleed is taking a stand to improve the welfare of service animals, and offers another option for transporting tourists.
A new memorandum was signed by Chairperson of KBW, Prince Khaled, and Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority Chief Commissioner, Falah Omoush, to improve the welfare of the animals working in the city. This came about after an investigation was documented by PETA in 2017 and followed up in 2018.
The disturbing videos and photos showed horses and donkeys being abused. Open wounds on the face and body of the animals from being beaten with sticks. Many had injuries from ill-fitting tack being, and forced to work long days without breaks. The poor animals received no shade or break from the heat. The documents showed the animals being beaten and overworked with no water. It is a crime to mistreat an animal under Jordan law.
“PETA Asia’s exposé revealed that mules and donkeys are forced to climb 900 steps up to a monastery and down again with visitors on their backs, while horses are forced to pull carriages on grueling 6-mile treks through the ancient city multiple times a day. The exposé also showed men and boys repeatedly hitting exhausted animals with ropes, chains, and whips to keep them moving,” reports PETA.
Prince Khaled plans on helping introduce electric cars into the city to use for tourists. This idea will decrease the burden on the animals and help the environment. The prince is a vegan that strongly believes in ending factory farming, promoting solar energy, and bringing plant-based food to the Middle East.
While the new memo does not outlaw horse-drawn carriages, it does include a plan to make sure they are properly cared for. Shelters and animal clinics will be established to care for the animals. Water station will be created to offer the working animals fresh water. Working animals are now prohibited from carrying heavy loads and walking dangerous paths. The people will be trained on proper care of their animals. Each working animal will receive regular veterinary care at the clinics.
Sign and share the petition below to help working animals in the Grand Canyon region. Together we can make a difference!
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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