For six long years, animal rights groups in Israel have been fighting to have horse-drawn carriages banned from Tel Aviv and finally, finally it has been made law. One of my very earliest posts, when I’d been living in the country only a matter of days, was about my shock and horror (and failed attempt to intervene or to reach the police) when I was living in Yafo (Jaffa) and I saw a man and his grown sons and a lot of heavy junk piled on a horse-drawn cart. This poor animal had every rib showing, it was swaybacked, old, exhausted and it was terrified. It refused to cross a busy boulevard (Sderot Yerushalayim) and the man climbed down and hit the animal with a whip in its face again and again while the poor animal screamed and screamed.

The animals that pull the “alte sachen” (old things) carts and so forth here in this city are regularly abused and mistreated and live and work in the most deplorable conditions. I’ve seen horses that were ill-shod with infected feet, being forced to jog along pulling a heavy load, their hooves leaking pus from infection. Thank you, thank you for passing this law!