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CHAI/HAKOL CHAI ACHIEVES MAJOR STEP
TOWARD NATIONWIDE CART HORSE BAN
CHAI/Hakol Chai achieved
a major step toward its
long-worked for goal of banning horse- and
donkey-pulled carts from city streets and highways throughout the
country, when Israel's Transportation Ministry agreed to accept Hakol
Chai's suggested new regulation to ban these vehicles. The Justice
Department must now check the text of the new regulation before it heads
to the Knesset Finance Committee for final approval, which is expected
at the end of January, after the national elections. Israel will then be
among the first countries to ban all vehicles pulled by animals on city
streets and highways.
Horses and donkeys are used in Israel to haul furniture, appliances, old
clothing, scrap metal, rocks from construction sites, and heavy produce
like watermelons. 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. 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
At a meeting last month with representatives of the Transportation
Hakol Chai presented a collage of photos of abused cart horses
sent to it by concerned citizens from around the country, entitled "Israel in the 21st Century" and
requested that the regulations be changed to ban the phenomenon
nationwide. The Ministry agreed to Hakol Chai's request, and Hakol Chai
representatives then worked with committee members to draft suggested
wording for the new legislation.
"The Cart Horse
Phenomenon, Israel in the 21st Century"
International animal protection organizations sent congratulatory
letters to Transportation Minister Israel Katz in honor of Horses
Without Carriages International Day, December 1, praising his decision
to adopt Hakol Chai's suggested regulations and expressing gratitude for
his forward step that demonstrates positive and humane leadership. CHAI
is part of an international coalition working to ban horse-drawn
Please donate to CHAI so we can continue to be the voice of the animals,
ensuring that the newly won ban is enforced throughout the country.
Following are just some of the actions on behalf of horses and donkeys
made possible by your contributions:
Repeatedly exposing the abuse to raise public consciousness, including
shutting down a major horse abuser who hacked unsold horses apart with
an axe in front of other horses and sold the meat in the market as cow
Appealing to the Transportation Ministry and to Mayors throughout the
country to ban the phenomenon
Putting up countless
posters urging the public to recognize and report abuse
Organizing a well-attended
rally at a popular Tel Aviv night club at which volunteer celebrity
musicians and singers performed, drawing publicity and support to the
Submitting a formal
proposal to the Tel Aviv City Council asking for a city-wide ban on the
phenomenon, which resulted in the Council calling a special meeting to
discuss the issue for the first time; demonstrating outside the building
where the Council met to exert additional pressure
Initiating a "witness" campaign
to keep awareness of the widespread problem high and enlist the help of the
public. The campaign urged people throughout the country to use their cell
phones to send us photos of cart horses and their drivers, which we compiled
in a collage captioned "Israel in the 21st Century" to present to officials
and the media. This campaign was initiated after signs finally put up by Tel
Aviv barring entrance to these vehicles were ignored by cart owners, and the
police failed to issue fines.
Boarding and rehabilitating
Joey, rescued cart horse, before
Rescued Joey, after
CHAI's Arab Education Program Is Creating
a Better World
"It is better to light
a candle than to curse the darkness."
Expanding the Circle of Compassion, CHAI's
pilot humane education
project for Arab schools in the north of Israel—launched in October
introductory conference for Arab teachers, principals, and
counselors—is reaching over 600 students and already achieving amazing
results. This groundbreaking program is the first time humane education
has been taught in Arab schools in Israel on a continuing basis, by students'
regular teachers under our supervision and guidance, as part of the
"The values taught by this program exactly match those that our school
aims to instill in children," commented a principal of one of the
participating schools. She emphasized how important it is to teach
humane values at an early age. Respect, responsibility, empathy,
critical thinking, and empowering children to make compassionate choices
to create a better world are the building blocks of our program.
Teachers report that students are excited by and engaged in the lessons,
which are allowing them to express and explore their feelings about
animals for the first time. They are discovering that both humans and
animals have emotions and intelligence and that every living being
deserves to be treated with respect and compassion. "Before this
program," one boy commented, "I thought of animals as stupid and without
feelings and was afraid to have them in my family because I thought they
were aggressive and dangerous, but I learned that animals are sometimes
more intelligent than humans and I am no longer afraid of them. This
program gives me tools for how to treat animals," he told the teacher.
Some students reported that they feel closer to animals than to people.
One of the many benefits of humane education is that it helps teachers
identify children at risk of violent behavior. Scientific studies have
shown that cruelty to animals in children is an accurate predictor of
violence toward humans when children become adults. In response to a
teacher's questions "Should we be responsible for animals? Should we
have compassion for them?" one student answered that he didn't feel
compassion for animals, for humans, and not even for himself because no
one cared about him. The teacher learned that neither parent was in his
life, and acted immediately to get him help. Other students reported
overhearing a boy bragging to his classmates that he had cut the tails
off of cats in his neighborhood. Their teacher told the class that such
behavior is cruel and unacceptable and immediately arranged counseling
for the boy. How many lives, human and animal, might our program be
Teachers offer students an opportunity to explore their feelings, and
they stress the importance of not taking out their pain and anger on animals.
One boy said he picked up and threw his cat out of frustration over
something and later felt terrible about what he had done. Another boy said his brother hit him and he immediately hit
his dog, who bit him. He realized it was his own fault and felt bad
for the dog. In each case, teachers reinforced the message that it is
wrong to harm animals.
Children spoke up about having seen dogs burned, donkeys and horses
abused and whipped, and said they won't put up with such abuse of
animals anymore and will do something to stop it. "If you were in the
place of the abused animals," the teacher asked, "how would you feel and
what would you want others to do?" One boy said his father had given him
a gift of birds in a cage, but he felt so sorry for them, he released
them. His father was very angry, he said, but he felt he had done the
right thing. A teacher set up a website on which children can post their
stories and poems about animals.
October marked the annual celebration of the holiday of Eid al-Adha, a
festival of sacrifice during which people kill animals and give a
portion of the meat to the poor. It is considered a blessing for
children to watch and participate in the slaughter. Teachers
reported that children returned to school afterwards highly upset and
confused by the contrast between our message of compassion and respect
and what they witnessed. While observing one class, for example, Hakol
program supervisor noticed a boy who was so upset, he was unable to
speak or write. An additional teacher and a counselor were called in to
comfort and support students in the class. Killing animals on this holiday is a cultural
tradition, not a religious requirement. Children can donate to charity
instead and we have asked religious leaders to clarify for students the
importance of kindness to animals in their religion.
Students in one participating school are of the Druze religion, a unique
sect of Islam. Israeli citizens, the Druze have risen to high-ranking
Army officer positions, lost their lives in combat, and many have become
members of the Knesset (Parliament). The Druze believe that being
vegetarian brings us closer to God and their religious leaders are
vegetarian. They do not allow children under the age of 7 to participate
in the Eid al-Adha animal slaughter. We will ask the Moslem and Druze
religious leaders we invite to address students to inform schools and
parents that it is acceptable for all, especially children, to replace
slaughtering animals with acts of charity.
Our educational programs for secular schools in Israel and for Jewish
schools everywhere will be launched soon. Please support our educational programs that go to the root of the problem of indifference and cruelty, planting seeds of kindness and compassion in the next generation. Send
your generous tax-deductible contributions to CHAI, POB 3341,
Alexandria, VA 22302, or
donate online on our website.
Hakol Chai Interviewed
Protesting Cruel Kapparot Ritual
From TV interview of Hakol Chai's representative at
Hatikva Market, Tel Aviv,
Just before Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) in September, some
religious Jews engage in the practice of kapparot. Live chickens are
held by the legs and swung around people's heads three times before
their throats are slit, in the belief that the chicken will take on the
sins of the person and spare him or her punishment. The dead chickens
are donated to the poor to eat. Investigations have revealed that the
chickens are not given proper care and are treated inhumanely.
Kapparot is not a religious requirement. It can be replaced by donating
to charity and other good deeds. Furthermore, the Torah says that one
must not commit a sin (cause cruelty to animals) in order to perform a
mitzvah or good deed (asking for forgiveness).
representative, interviewed by the media at a location in Jerusalem
where kapparot is practiced, said: "In the act of seeking forgiveness
for ourselves, we are harming another living being, and in so doing are
violating the prohibition against 'tsa'ar ba'alei chayyim,' causing
suffering to animals." CHAI is a member of a coalition working toward
replacing kapparot with good deeds and giving to charity.
Hakol Chai continues to
expose the cruelties of the horse racing industry
abuse of cart horses and donkeys in the media and
to publish information to elevate consciousness about animals,
how to provide for and protect animals in the event of
emergency or war, such as recently occurred in the south of the
country, for example. Hakol Chai's work was mentioned no less
than 69 times in the media (print, online, TV, and radio) over the
past year—33 times in connection with our campaign against horse racing ,
21 times in connection with our efforts to ban cart horses, and 15
times in connection with our Arab education program and other
issues. Your support has made it possible for Hakol Chai to be a strong voice for animals.
Hakol Chai also regularly responds to calls
for help from the public, whether reporting incidents of cruelty,
requesting help with veterinary care for those who cannot afford it,
or with finding homes for abandoned animals.
In honor of World Animal Day, October 4th, a sign
was placed on a horse statue in central Tel Aviv by Hakol Chai activists, flyers
were distributed to passersby, and conversations educated them about the cruelties inherent in the horse racing industry.
Luka was found in Nazareth by a
young American woman who called us desperate to find a home for her
before returning to the U.S. Thanks to our efforts, Luka now has a wonderful home with a young couple in Petach Tikvah.
spread the word about CHAI's work on behalf of Israel's animals. The more
support we have, the more we can help animals. Here are some ways you can
Send your generous,
tax-deductible contributions to CHAI, POB 3341, Alexandria, VA 22302 or
donate through our
Organize a "parlor meeting"
of friends to help raise funds for CHAI's projects
Distribute CHAI pamphlets
at synagogues, Temples, vets' offices, and other places people who care
about animals are likely to see them
Know any foundations that might consider a grant proposal from CHAI or reporters who might write about our cause? Tell us!
Remember CHAI in your will
CHAI's Facebook page
On behalf of the animals, we thank you!
Yours for a more compassionate world,
CHAI - Concern for Helping Animals in Israel
PO Box 3341, Alexandria, VA 22302