Following a year-long PETA campaign that included an undercover investigation, appeals from nearly 500,000 people, and meetings with government officials, Egypt's tourism ministry has announced plans to ban camel and horse rides around the Giza pyramids and in the archaeological areas. Tourists will be able to use electric cars and buses, as recommended by PETA Asia.
A statement on this news by PETA Asia Senior Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker:
This announcement is a huge victory for all the camels and horses who are forced to haul visitors on their backs or in carriages at Egypt's top tourist sites in the blistering heat, without access to food, water, or shade. After PETA Asia revealed the immense suffering of these working animals - for instance, animals would slip and fall to the ground and workers were caught on camera whipping a horse mercilessly after he collapsed from exhaustion - we and nearly 500,000 compassionate people sent letters to the Ministry of Tourism, and our representatives met with government officials to discuss ending this abuse by banning the use of animals at these sites.
Many of the camels used for rides in Egypt come from the notorious Birqash Camel Market, where PETA Asia filmed camels being beaten bloody. Our footage led to the arrest of three camel traders by a security force headed by Brig. Gen. Assem Abu al-Khair and Sameh Badawi. The traders could be fined and could face imprisonment for up to six months under Article 357 of the Penal Code.
Animal abuse has no place at Egypt's majestic tourist destinations, and while this plan doesn't ban all animal rides across the country, we're excited to see electric cars and buses carry tourists around in the future. PETA Asia is calling on other destinations that still offer horse-drawn carriage rides - such as Petra, Jordan - to follow in Egypt's footsteps and switch to animal-free transportation.