Horses pulling carriages at the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt have been filmed with apparent untreated injuries, including broken legs.
The animals, many of whom also had open sores, were also seen eating out of rubbish dumps in the heat.
The Egyptian government previously pledged to ban the use of horses and other animals at tourist sites, but PETA says it is being too slow to do so.
The footage has led to fresh calls from PETA Asia for the Egyptian government to ensure horses are given food, shade, and water. The animal rights charity is also urging government officials to move faster in replacing the horses with eco-friendly electric carts.
Despite the harrowing footage, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has reportedly said that it won’t be providing the horses with water or shade until the last half of 2023.
PETA Asia has written a letter to Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) urging it to address the problem sooner.
The letter highlighted that, despite assurances that the government shared its concerns about the animals at tourist sites, “nothing has changed and animals are still being subjected to unrelenting toil.”
It added: “Tourists are leaving Egypt’s archaeological site aghast at the egregious cruelty they witness. Clearly, the actions taken by the MoTA are wholly inadequate. We urge you once again to take immediate action to enforce the ban on the use of horses at historical monuments across Egypt.”
A history of abuse
This new footage comes three years after a PETA Asia investigation revealed what it labeled “appalling abuse” at the top tourism destinations in Egypt. Locations included the Great Pyramid of Giza, Saqqara, and Luxor.
As well as horses hauling visitors in carriages without food and other basic necessities, footage showed handlers in Giza violently beating a horse who had collapsed on her side while pulling a carriage. She was severely injured by her fall, but they continued to beat her until she got back up.
“Visitors go to Egypt to see magnificent archaeological sites and are appalled to witness wounded, starving horses living off rubbish and baking under the hot sun,” said PETA vice president Mimi Bekhechi in a statement.
“PETA is calling on Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa to step up and ensure that horses at least get shade, food, and water now – not next year – and to start switching to eco-friendly electric carts.”