Horse cart, Tel Aviv_311.
(photo credit: Courtesy Hakol Hai)
Animal rights group Hakol Chai launched a campaign protesting the use of horse-
and donkey-drawn carts on city streets, stressing that the practice causes
suffering to the animals and danger to human passersby.
The horses, the
group contends, are often rented to peddlers for very minimal prices and
typically receive no veterinary services, inadequate food and water supplies and
hazardous living conditions. Not only do the horses themselves frequently suffer
from exhaustion, malnutrition, disease and abandonment, their presence in city
streets often dangerously disrupts human and vehicle traffic flow, a release
from the organization said.
Some particularly problematic cities include
Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Kfar Saba and Netanya, according to the group.
order to combat the phenomenon, Hakol Chai has launched a “Witnesses Campaign”
on its Facebook page, asking residents to take photos of horse carts with their
“The response from concerned citizens upset by these
terrible sights has been overwhelming,” said Tal Sahar, a senior official at
Hakol Chai, in the release. “Municipal authorities have shown themselves to be
incapable of enforcing animal protection regulations. A law banning the
practice is long overdue.”
Today, only the police and the Agriculture
Ministry have the power to enforce the existing national Animal Protection Law,
which they often fail to do and which does not specifically address animals
working in urban environments, the organization said.
While the city of
Tel Aviv-Yafo did agree to ban the carts in 2009, the municipality did not end
up having the resources to effectively enforce the ban, according to Hakol
To that effect, the group sent a letter on Sunday appealing to
Interior Minister Eli Yishai, asking that he issue a model bylaw for cities that
would prohibit the use of these carts on city streets, as has occurred in many
cities throughout the world, according to Hakol Chai.
In the letter, the
organization also suggested that the same officers who ticket illegally parked
cars be assigned to fine those using horse- and donkey- drawn carts. In response
to a query from The Jerusalem Post, however, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman
said that the movement of horses in city streets is under the jurisdiction of
the Transportation Ministry, not the Interior Ministry.
Ministry cannot require cities to enact bylaws within their borders, especially
since roads are outside the responsibilities of the local authorities, the