In April, PETA revealed that horses were whipped and camels were beaten bloody for Egypt’s tourism industry. After seeing the investigative footage and after the Society for the Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt filed an official complaint, local authorities arrested three people suspected of torturing camels at the Birqash Camel Market in Cairo. They face being fined and imprisoned for up to six months.
At the notoriously cruel Birqash Camel Market, men and children were observed viciously beating screaming camels with sticks. Many of the animals’ faces were bloody, and one camel foamed at the mouth.
PETA Asia’s investigation included several tourism destinations in Egypt – including the Great Pyramid of Giza, Saqqara, and Luxor. Video footage shows handlers in Giza violently beating a horse who’d collapsed on her side while being forced to pull a carriage. She was severely injured by her fall, but they continued to beat her until she got back up. Many horses used for rides in Giza and Luxor had painful, bloody wounds and were forced to wait in the scorching sun for the next paying customer – without food, water, or access to shade. Emaciated horses whose ribs showed through their skin were repeatedly yanked and whipped.
Abusing working animals in Egypt violates article 45 of the country’s constitution, which states, “The State shall protect … those under the threat of extinction or danger; guarantee humane treatment of animals,” but more needs to be done. PETA is calling for a ban on the use of working animals at tourist sites in the country.
If you’re planning to visit Egypt, please don’t ride an animal or take a horse-drawn carriage ride. When you book your trip, ask your tour company and hotel whether they promote these rides. If they do, explain why they should stop doing so. Animals are living, feeling beings who suffer in this industry. They give rides only because they’re forced to. And please urge Egypt’s Minister of Tourism to end this abuse by banning the use of animals at these sites.