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Israel Becomes First Country to Ban Horse- and Donkey-drawn Carts: Knesset Economic Committee Approves Ban Suggested by Hakol Chai






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Recent Hakol Chai Events in Israel:

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June 8, 2009

December 7, 2008

December 30, 2007

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Tel Aviv Bans
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Wounded Cart Horses

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Jerusalem, 30 July 2014


Israel became the first country to impose a nationwide ban on horse- and donkey-drawn carts on streets and highways yesterday, when the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee approved a new regulation submitted to it by the Ministry of Transportation at the suggestion of Hakol Chai (Everything Lives). Hakol Chai is the Israeli sister charity of the U.S.-based Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI).


"We are thrilled at this victory in our struggle to end this cruel, outmoded phenomenon that has no place in the modern state of Israel," said Hakol Chai representative, Reut Reshef, "and we are grateful to the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee and the Transportation Ministry for taking this giant leap forward. Numerous studies have proven that violence toward animals and toward humans are linked," Reshef added. "Today's landmark decision will contribute to a more compassionate society and a more compassionate world."


Horses and donkeys are still used in Israel to haul furniture, scrap metal, rocks from construction sites, heavy produce like watermelons to market, and old clothing. They are often starved, beaten, denied veterinary and farrier care, forced to stand in the hot sun all day without water, and to wear ill-fitting harnesses that gouge into their flesh and create untreated wounds. At the end of the summer or when they are too ill or weak to work, they are abandoned. Some collapse in the street, still in their harnesses.


CHAI/Hakol Chai's campaign to end this cruel phenomenon, launched over ten years ago, repeatedly exposed severe abuse to these animals—some of which the NGO rescued and rehabilitated—closed down horse abusers, appealed to the Ministry of Transportation and Mayors throughout the country, presented a proposal to the Tel Aviv City Council that resulted in its discussing the issue for the first time, held demonstrations, launched a major rally at which celebrity singers and musicians performed, and more. Hakol Chai representatives worked with legal and other professional advisors from the Ministry of Transportation and the Police to draft suggested wording for the new legislation, which was approved by the Ministry of Justice before being submitted to the Economic Affairs Committee in the Knesset.


"It is heartening to see that in the midst of a war, Israel also remembers the importance of tsa'ar ba'alei chayyim (compassion for the suffering of animals)," said Reshef. "We will now turn our efforts to ensuring that the law is enforced everywhere in the country."


CHAI is a member of the global coalition of groups Horses Without Carriages International, which works in many countries to ban this outmoded, cruel practice. The coalition includes active members in many U.S. and Canadian cities and in international cities including Dublin, Florence, Rome and Vienna.


CHAI/Hakol Chai also campaigns to prevent gambling on horse racing from coming to Israel and promotes character values and critical thinking via its educational programs in both the Jewish and Arab sectors.