Today, we are asking what the Jordanian government is afraid of after PETA Asia’s most non-controversial ad ever, greeting travelers at Queen Alia International Airport was removed. The ad, which simply read: “Visit Petra! Ride the Carts. Pet the Donkeys!”, was scheduled to greet travelers at the arrivals lounge for six months but was taken down after only a few days.
The ad was an innocuous way to let tourists know that new electric carts have replaced most horse carts. The carts and the use of donkeys to haul visitors up the 900 crumbling steps to the monastery have caused constant tourist complaints. A PETA Asia investigation report documented hot, thirsty, and exhausted animals, and donkeys being beaten with hard plastic pipes, ropes, metal chains, and whips.
In response to the horrific conditions, PETA Asia opened a free veterinary clinic that provides food, clean water, and veterinary care. The clinic works to heal infections, parasitic infestations, saddle sores, and lesions caused by hobbles or metal halters, among other painful conditions.
Ad or no ad, both PETA Asia and caring tourists will continue to demand change in Petra.