Israel bans the importation of donkeys into Gaza because they are abused there

NEWS AND COMMENT: The Washington Post reports that Israel has banned the importation of the much-needed donkeys into Gaza because animal welfare groups have told them that Gaza donkeys are treated very badly. That’s the report and it seems to me that Israel are trying to improve animal welfare in Gaza on the basis of what I read. Which is very ironic and mad (?) because they are shelling animals, children, women and men mercilessly as I write this.

The ban on the importation of donkeys into Gaza began in December 2021. There is a donkey trader in Gaza who at that time went to clear the arrival of 30 donkeys being shipped from Israel and he was told that “Israel had decided it was now forbidden to import donkeys into Gaza”.

And he was further told that Israeli officials were acting in the best interests of animal welfare groups. These groups had complained of widespread mistreatment of donkeys in Gaza. Mistreatment included overcrowding shipping containers, abusive workloads and malnutrition.

So, this donkey trader is complaining that because animal welfare groups objected about the treatment of donkeys in Gaza and made some noise about it, the Israel government closed down the transfer of donkeys. This immediately reduced his business by half.

This also immediately raised the value of donkeys tremendously. They currently have a value of $1000 each which no one can afford. Some donkeys in Gaza are procreating, producing offspring but they need to grow up before they can become a working donkey and there are nowhere near enough.

The donkey trader, al-Nadi, said that: “One day there will be no donkeys in Gaza”.

The problem is that donkeys have become more and more useful throughout this war because of a lack of fuel to power vehicles.

My assessment on looking at videos and photographs of donkeys in Gaza is that they are indeed sometimes (often?) maltreated. Not all of them, I hasten to add, but there would seem to be many very thin donkeys struggling to do their work. I don’t see a lot of animal welfare in Gaza but that may partly be because of the way Israelis keep them captive in the Gaza Strip and control what goes in and comes out.

In the meantime, I feel for these donkeys who live a very hard life. Maybe the animal welfare groups are right in saying that there should be no donkeys in Gaza at all because it’s just not a great place for a donkey to be in general. Some are well treated.

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Post Category: Animal Advocates