It’s been over ten days since Egyptians managed to unchain themselves from a 30-year old dictatorship after weeks of gathering in Tahrir Square to tell Mubarak to leave. According to Human Rights Watch just under 300 protestors were killed during Egypt’s revolt but some of the forgotten victims include an estimated 3,000 horses used in the tourism industry who were abandoned in the chaotic days of protest.
The Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA) found that an estimated 3,000 horses used to carry tourists to the Pyramids have suffered as owners could no longer afford to feed the animals.
As the protests disrupted the tourism industry, many of the owners- whose only source of income are the horses- could no longer afford to care for animals. As a result horse are starving to death and other have died after weeks of attempting to fend for themselves.
ESMA also explained that as many of the roads in Cairo were blocked during the protests many owners couldn’t reach their animals. During a visit to the stables, the animal rights organisation found a dead horse being removed by a cart as well as several malnourished and sick animals.
At a reported makeshift graveyard there were the remains of 50 horses and 3 camels- all had starved to death. “The most distressing of all the dead animals were the dead foals next to their mothers”, said an ESMA member.
A representative of the group handed out buckets of food to 450 horses until their supplies ran out and said “When the horses were waiting in line for their rations, some of them were so hungry they ate the trees.”
Egypt has previously struggled with its animal rights record and has been subject to accusations of animal cruelty to sheep during the Muslim celebration of Eid. They were also criticised after authorities erroneously killed two sharks following the Red Sea shark attacks. Let’s hope that the new start for Egypt also marks a fresh effort by the country to improve it animal rights record.
::Image via Rick Manwaring via flickr.
For more on Animals Rights issues in Egypt see: