Tourist horses “forgotten victims” of Egypt’s political unrest

Gruesome toll: A horse graveyard on the outskirts of Cairo is testament to the forgotten victims of Egypt's unrest. Photos: SPANA

Gruesome toll: A horse graveyard on the outskirts of Cairo is testament to the forgotten victims of Egypt’s unrest. Photos: SPANA

A charity is rallying support to help hundreds of horses facing starvation in Egypt following the collapse of the tourist trade.

Political unrest has meant about 48 per cent fewer tourists visited the country in the last quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, leaving many of Cairo’s carriage drivers without an income and unable to afford feed for their horses.

Former British MP Anne Widdecombe with horses getting their survival rations.

Former British MP Anne Widdecombe with horses getting their survival rations.

Animal lover and former British MP Ann Widdecombe has toured the area around the Giza Pyramids in Cairo to see the plight of horses.

British animal charity SPANA (the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) says hundreds of emaciated carriage horses that are usually used for tourist excursions are now suffering severe malnutrition because of the disastrous drop in the tourist trade.

Widdecombe visited Giza with the charity this week to see its work helping malnourished horses, and travelled to an area on the outskirts of the city that has become a dumping ground for horse carcasses.

“Tourists will stay away from Egypt until political stability returns and in the meantime horses will suffer,” Widdecombe said.

“It has been truly shocking and heartbreaking to see the plight of horses here, especially the area that’s become a makeshift horse graveyard.”

She praised the work of charities such as SPANA for taking action to feed Giza’s horses, saving their lives and securing the future incomes of carriage drivers reliant on the tourist trade.

SPANA is funding an emergency programme to provide basic rations for 200 horses a day.

SPANA chief executive Jeremy Hulme said: “Thousands of people rely on the tourism industry for their income in Egypt and can’t afford to feed their families at the moment, never mind their animals.

“This is why our emergency feeding programme is absolutely vital to help keep animals alive until tourism returns.

“Tragically, many horses and camels in the area have already died; they are truly the forgotten victims of this crisis.”

The feeding programme is being run in association with SPANA’s partner organisation, ESAF (the Egyptian Society of Animal Friends).

Want to help? Go to www.spana.org/egypt or call 020 7831 3999.

A horse near Cairo picks among rubbish in the hopes of finding food.

A horse near Cairo picks among rubbish in the hopes of finding food.


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Comments (9)

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  1. Morgan says:

    Prince Fluffy Kareem also do excellent work helping the Pyramid horses. You can follow them on Facebook.

  2. Jo Youl says:

    Having seen the state of the poor buggers even before the civil unrest, it is probably a mercy that they’ve died.Wasted and starving, covered in boils and abscesses, open wounds along their spines and often made to work on broken legs. Disgusting

  3. Lana says:

    Exactly….seeing these horses BEFORE the unrest was indeed a gruesome sight!!! You can not tell me these people are that STUPID & IGNORANT …or is it ruthless, to the fact these horses are literally starving!! SHAME, SHAME, on anyone who paid to have their asses carted around on such sickening looking horses & said NOTHING! I don’t give a shit if it’s all about the pyramids…they mean absolutely NOTHING to me in seeing starving animals. All you are doing is supporting this!!

  4. cindy wygant says:

    Prince Fluffy Kareem and The Egypt Horse Project are both wonderful places that try very hard to help the horses and donkeys of Egypt. Both are on Facebook.

  5. Mariah says:

    I have never visited Egypt, Greece, etc. for fear of seeing the terrible conditions under which these poor animals toil.

  6. Andrea says:

    Animal Care in Egypt, a UK and Egyptian charity based in Luxor in Egypt has been providing free veterinary care to the working horses and donkeys of Luxor and surrounding area now for more than 13 years. Luxor truly is a tourist city and has had a terrible time over the past 12 months, even though it is quite far removed from the troubles in Cairo, the tourists stopped coming. The ACE animal hospital has had to initiate similar feeding campaigns and has seen many more undernourished animals coming to be treated. What would the animals and owners do without such charitable help? It’s all so tragic :(

  7. Paolly Pony says:

    Best to support Spana. The Brook. Ace all old registered charities with resources to feed many ,so much has gone wrong with the TEHP so I wouldn’t donate to them now .

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