Tel Aviv Bans Horse-Drawn Carts
Tel Aviv Bans Horse-Drawn Carts
CHAI's 10-year campaign to get cart
horses banned from the streets of Tel Aviv achieved success this past week when
the city announced that, at long last, it has banned the practice.
Highlights of CHAI's campaign:
Summer 1999 -- In response to Tel Aviv
officials' continued refusal to take action in response to CHAI's complaints
about the problem of abused horses in the city, CHAI rescues and rehabilitates
severely abused horses to raise awareness of the plight of these animals,
demanding routine inspections and licensing.
Some of CHAI's rescued and rehabilitated horses
CHAI's sister charity in Israel, Hakol Chai, reports a major abuser of horses in
Jaffa to authorities - a man named Nissim, who starved and sold horses, provided
no veterinary care, and even hacked them apart with an axe in front of each
other and sold their meat in the market as beef. Hakol Chai's undercover video
of the killings airs on TV, and Nissim's place is temporarily closed down.
Horse abuse in Jaffa exposed by Hakol Chai
2003 -- Nissim
reopens his facility and Hakol Chai organizes a raid on his place, exposing
horrendous cruelty and shutting him down permanently. Still, the city refuses to
investigate the condition of other horses in the city and remove those being
abused from their abusers. Hakol Chai determines that regulations will not stop
the abuse and calls for a complete ban.
Hakol Chai's footage
of abused donkeys pulling heavy loads airs on Kolbotek, a popular TV program.
This photo shows a donkey who had his ears cut off.
April 2005 -- Hakol
Chai's attorney writes to the Ministry of Transportation and Mayors of cities
around Israel, urging them to ban the practice of horses pulling heavy carts.
Hakol Chai begins pressuring the City Council to issue a ban. Hakol Chai's
attorney submits a detailed proposal and recommendations to the City Council,
asking it to call a meeting to discuss the problem and its recommendations. In
response to Hakol Chai's campaign, cart horse owners begin heavily lobbying the
Mayor's office to prevent the enactment of a ban, and the Mayor is reluctant to
take action against this special interest group.
Hakol Chai and CHAI
organize an international letter-writing campaign, asking that appeals be sent
to the Chairperson of the Education, Culture, and Sports Committee in the
Knesset, the Minister of Education, Culture, and Sports, the Minister of
Transportation, and the Mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa asking them to ban the use of
horse-drawn carts to haul heavy loads through busy city streets.
years of pressure follow.
Spring 2007 -- Hakol Chai makes presentations in
Tel Aviv schools to raise awareness among students about the suffering of cart
horses and the need to protest their treatment. At an annual conference for Tel
Aviv schools participating in the "Breakthrough" program, in which students work
to make a difference on a social or environmental problem of their choosing,
students of the Democratic School show a film shot by Hakol Chai documenting the
horse/donkey abuse problem in the city and promote the cart horse case to a
panel of local authorities, including the Tel Aviv municipal veterinarian.
Fall 2007 -- Hakol Chai mounts posters throughout Jaffa, the old part of Tel
Aviv where these animals are used as beasts of burden, announcing "A horse is
not a truck! Hundreds of miserable horses and donkeys live around us. Don't be
indifferent! If you see a horse or donkey in distress, demand that the city
-- For the first time, as a result of Hakol Chai's campaign, the Tel Aviv City Council calls a special session to
address the problem of horse abuse in the city. At that meeting, Tel Aviv's
municipal veterinarian agrees with Hakol Chai that abuse cannot be prevented
through regulations, especially since the city has neither the funds to
regularly inspect the horses nor a facility to house them if they remove them
from their abusers. Still, the Mayor refuses to ban the practice, saying he will
make greater efforts to enforce existing regulations.
meeting, at the entrance to City Hall, Hakol Chai activists demonstrate, joined
by the Green Party and other organizations.
At the entrance to
December 2008 -- 350 people crowd into a popular Tel Aviv venue
in support of Hakol Chai's campaign, where popular singers Asaf Amdurski, Ram
Orion, and Billy Levi have volunteered to perform. CHAI / Hakol Chai's campaign
in Israel is now part of an international coalition of organizations throughout
the world called Horses Without Carriages International, which seeks to end
horse-drawn carts and carriages.
Popular singer Asaf Amdurski
was among those who volunteered
in support of Hakol Chai's campaign. Photo:
June 2009 -- Hakol Chai stages a civil disobedience
demonstration at the entrance to City Hall. Dozens of Hakol Chai protestors
carrying signs saying "Horses and donkeys are not vehicles," "Animals are not
cars," "Carriages and carts are a dead trend," "They're hurting; don't you
care?" and "Stop Animal Abuse" block the entrance to Tel Aviv's City Hall to
protest the Mayor's continued refusal to ban horse-drawn carts. The protesters
distribute hundreds of pamphlets explaining the plight of the horses to
pedestrians on one of the city's busiest streets, which runs in front of City
Hall, and to city employees as they enter and exit the building. Some of the
protesters lay on the ground as if they were dead to depict what becomes of the
At the entrance to City Hall. Photo: Noa Magger
November 2009 -- Tel Aviv's Mayor, at long last, bans horse-drawn carts from
Says CHAI's Director, Nina Natelson "We are pleased that, at
long last, there will no longer be sights of thin, injured, beaten cart horses
in Tel Aviv, and we will continue pressing Mayors of other cities in Israel to
issue similar bans."
With your support, we are making a difference. Please
continue to support CHAI's efforts on behalf of Israel's animals, in particular,
the development, publishing, and translation of our humane education curriculums
for secular and religious schools.
Send your tax-deductible contributions
to CHAI at POB 3341, Alexandria, VA 22302, USA, or donate through our
Yours for a more compassionate world,
CHAI - Concern for Helping Animals in Israel
PO Box 3341,
Alexandria, VA 22302