Published: 2017-11-02 15:50
Last Updated: 2017-11-03 23:46
While Jordanian animal rights activists have been busy campaigning for the rights of stray dogs that were killed off by the government in recent months, Egyptian actress Amy Samir Ghanem was campaigning for the donkeys of the Kingdom.
The young starlet joined the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in their campaign, “Be Kind to Donkeys, Compassion Begins With You,” which aims at raising people’s awareness of the hardships donkeys endure in Jordan.
“My friends at PETA and I encourage tourists not to ride donkeys and to care for them by giving them water and fruit,” Ghanem said.
Donkeys, especially those in tourist areas like Petra, are often forced to transport tourists and goods on their backs or by dragging a trolley behind them, and they’re made to do it in the scorching heat as well, according to PETA.
A statement released by the American animal rights organization said that “those animals are exposed to the heat without any shade, food or water. They are continuously beaten by their owners to make them move. They are also forced to go uphill and downhill with a heavy load on their backs, including tourists. These animals get little water and they spend time in the sun between 7am and 4pm.”
“Donkeys that carry tourists and other heavy items rarely receive the veterinary care they need,” the statement added. “Many of those animals suffer from exhaustion, limping and colic for months without receiving any treatment.”
As well as donkeys, visitors are given the option to ride camels and horses in tourist areas. Around 1,350 donkeys and horses are used to transport visitors in Petra alone.
In 2015, International animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS collaborated with the Princess Alia Foundation and Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority on a project to improve the health of donkeys and horses in Petra.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition