Palestinian Animal League
Palestinian Animal League (PAL) is a non-governmental organisation promoting and advocating animal welfare in the Palestinian Territory. Brooke is currently funding a 12-month pilot project through PAL to assess equine welfare needs in the West Bank and engage communities there.
Roles of working horses and donkeys in Palestine
Within the occupied Palestinian territory working equines are used in a number of different contexts including: agricultural work, transport, breeding and tourism. All of these practices present a number of potential welfare issues for the animals and, in the absence of proper husbandry and effective veterinary care, simple ailments and problems can develop into serious – sometimes life threatening – conditions.
To date, no formal welfare assessment of working equines has been carried out in the area but anecdotal evidence suggests issues such as poor diet; overloading; failure to provide adequate shelter; whipping and deliberate beating; and use of inadequate tack equipment leading to injury are widespread.
What's happening now
Brooke is currently funding a 12-month pilot project through the PAL to assess the situation for working equines in the West Bank.
Four communities, representative of both geographic scope and equine use, will be identifying specific welfare concerns and solutions to overcome them:
- Ramallah and nearby village, Jifna (central West Bank - transport goods and celebration)
- Tulkarm (northern West Bank - farming)
- Turmus Aya (central West Bank - riding schools)
- Wadi Al Qillt (southern West Bank - tourism/transportation)
"With our dedicated team on the ground and the backing of Brooke’s world-renowned experts in equine welfare, we are confident that this work will have a meaningful impact on the health and wellbeing of a great number of horses and donkeys in the region."
PAL has already held a workshop for members of their technical committee and volunteer trainee vets. They are now developing community training sessions and action plans.
This project will help local communities to understand key welfare concerns and develop community action plans to tackle them. This will develop effective practices which can be replicated in other areas to provide the veterinary services and education required to improve equine welfare.
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