While the world watches for news of Egypt’s political future, smaller stories about the nation’s beleaguered animals emerge from the crisis.
There’s horror at the images of emaciated horses, camels, and donkeys normally used in Cairo’s tourism industry, now victims of the turmoil that has effectively stopped visitors from coming, and thus ended the source of income for the animals’ handlers, and the ability to feed them.
Many observers argue that Egypt’s beasts of burden endured miserable lives even before the uprising of January 25. Assuming that animal rescue groups manage to save them from starvation, and that tourism some day returns to this spectacular land of the pharoahs, will life improve for the country’s hard-worked, often neglected creatures?
Beth Sartain, a veterinary nurse and volunteer for Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA), says her group is working toward just that goal.
In the first two parts of this article series, Sartain described her encounter with looters who stole feed that she and other ESMA volunteers were delivering to starving horses.
Report from Beth Sartain
We set up a collection point and once again owners brought their horses. We checked owners’ ID, checked the horses and gave as much feed as we considered appropriate considering the condition of the horse.
Out of all the ESMA volunteers present yesterday I am the only one with any equine experience so I treated any wounds I saw as best I could.
Many of the ESMA volunteers stayed until late at night at our donation point. We have the backing of all the stable owners in the village and they know we will do all we can to help them.
Many came and personally apologised to me for the chaos of earlier in the day and the whole village is coming together to help us help them.
We now have a very good relationship with many owners there and we plan to continue our work after this crisis. We plan to help with education and it would be wonderful if we could introduce ESMA-approved riding stables were all horses are well cared for, fed and are ridden in well-fitting tack, etc.
This obviously is in the long term but we have set great foundations for ESMA and the horses of Egypt.
Beth Sartain, 16th February 2011
Member and volunteer at ESMA
From : http://www.examiner.com/animal-policy-in-national/horse-rescuer-egypt-fends-off-looters-then-befriends-them
Horse rescuer in Egypt fends off looters then befriends them
Horses and camels starving in Egypt - animal protection groups race to save them