Major First Step to Protect ‘Working Animals’ Applauded
Petra, Jordan — In a landmark move that PETA hopes will be the first of many and that will certainly lighten the burden on horses working in Petra, the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority will launch a fleet of 20 eco-friendly electric vehicles to replace the horse-drawn carriages that previously ferried tourists around the Petra Archaeological Park. The carts come after pressure from tourists who have contacted PETA and from the group’s release of video footage (available to view here and here) that revealed severe animal suffering and abuse at the site.
“Horses will no longer suffer having to pull heavy tourists around with the introduction of these game-changing vehicles, and we hope to see more developments like this,” says PETA Senior Vice President Jason Baker. “A decision to end horse rides at the pyramids in Giza, Egypt, was made over a year ago, and PETA hopes to work with officials toward the day when there will be only animal-free transportation at Petra.”
PETA’s investigations revealed that mules and donkeys are forced to climb 900 steps up to the monastery and down again with visitors on their backs, while horses are forced to pull carriages on grueling treks through the ancient city multiple times a day. The group launched a free clinic outside the park after finding that animals were denied shade and water in the blistering heat and routinely beaten and whipped, all while being forced to carry tourists. PETA’s veterinarians help many animals who are suffering from intentionally inflicted wounds, untreated lameness, colic, dietary deficiencies, and exhaustion. Over 3,000 animals have already been treated since the clinic began.
Animals used for rides and other working animals at Petra endure extremely difficult lives, which is why PETA is advocating for all animals to be removed from the park and replaced with mechanized vehicles.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETAAsia.com or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.