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Queen Rania launches center for care of working animals

Mar 20, 2007

Free range sheep

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah today launched the Garden Sanctuary for Animal Welfare Center in Amman, Jordan, which will offer free medical services for animal care to farmers and villagers who depend on animals for their livelihood. 
The Humane Center for Animal Welfare’s (HCAW) Garden Sanctuary project, which was co-funded by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the Jordanian government, will provide free services for work animals. There are currently over 45,000 families in Jordan who depend on animal labor for income, either as a means of transportation, to plough, or as food sources.
Peter Davies, Director General of the WSPA, said: “The opening of this center marks an important step forward for animal welfare in the Kingdom and is a credit to the vision and hard work of our member society the HCAW."
He added: “The facility will play a crucial role in improving the livelihoods of people and will serve as an example to the rest of the Middle East of a center of excellence that rivals any of its kind in the world.”
Queen Rania, who in February 2006 laid the center's foundation stone, toured the facility with Her Royal Highness Princess Alia Al-Hussein. The facility includes boarding accommodation, an education center, and recreational sources. It houses two surgical theaters, a pharmacy, a recovery room, and an X-ray lab. It also provides accredited and supervised training for veterinary students as well as specialist equine services.
The center will be run by the HCAW and, in coordination with the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) and the Ministry of Agriculture, will provide veterinary services and advice to communities whose survival depends on the well-being of their animals. The center also spearheads education projects in schools that promote humane behavior towards animals and provides pet therapy for people with special needs. 
Queen Rania joined a number of children, participating in a workshop in the Humane Education Room. The educational programs will be implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. So far, the center has established 13 animal welfare clubs across the Kingdom, in cooperation with the ministry. They are targeting students between the ages of nine and 16 and seek to encourage the humane treatment of animals. The supervising school teachers have all been trained by the center through seminars and lectures.
During the launching ceremony, Her Majesty recognized the efforts of Princess Alia; Omar Maani, Mayor of Amman; Peter Davies, WSPA Director General; Trevor Wheeler, WSPA Middle East Projects Director; and Nidal Al-Fanoon, General Manager of Al-Fanoon Contracting Company, as she distributed appreciation plaques for their contributions to the center.
Margaret Ledger, Director General and co-founder of the HCAW, one of the initiators of the project, said she too hopes the center will become a regional example and noted that they will begin collecting funds for phase two of the project – an education and training center – on April 27 with the advice of the WSPA’s fundraising team.
The GAM designated approximately 20 dunums of land in the King of Bahrain Forest (formerly Ghamadan Park), located off the Airport Road, for the project and the WSPA has pledged to fund the center’s running costs for the first two years, after which it hopes to have helped build a successful and self-sufficient center for the HCAW. The WSPA has also donated a mobile veterinary clinic to the center to reach farmers and animal owners in remote areas.
The WSPA is the largest alliance of animal welfare organizations in the world with over 760 member societies in more than 145 countries. It has been working with the HCAW in Jordan since 2004.

WSPA is also proud of the major contribution to animal welfare that WSPA member societies SPANA and The Brooke have made over many years within Jordan. It is anticipated that the opening of the new Garden Sanctuary will compliment this previous and continuing work.

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