Situation critical for Gaza’s animals

Jan 23, 2009

Gaza's surviving animals are suffering from injuries and the effects of a lack of food and water

Last week WSPA funded the Palestine Wildlife Society (PWLS) to buy desperately-needed veterinary supplies to treat Gaza’s injured working animals. The picture of animal suffering that has now emerged is even worse than we feared.

Since the ceasefire, local vets Dr Orhan Khateeb and Dr Reem Khoury were able to send PWLS – part of WSPA’s Member Society Network – more detailed information about the animal welfare situation within Gaza.

The area’s hard-working donkeys and horses are vital to rebuilding livelihoods and a semblance of normal life for Gaza’s residents, providing the majority of transportation for local people and goods.

Livestock and zoo animals affected

The vets’ findings mirrored the anticipated acute animal first aid needs, with conflict-related injuries and wounds and lack of food and water causing the greatest and most immediate suffering.

PWLS initially planned to treat and care for working donkeys and horses and some companion animals, but Drs Khateeb and Khoury reported that the urgent animal welfare need extends to sheep, goats and the animals kept in Gaza Zoo.

With owners and keepers unable to move freely during the recent conflict, there have already been many animal fatalities.

Next steps

This weekend, PWLS intend to enter northern Gaza with equipment and medicines to complete a fuller assessment of local animal welfare needs, including zoo animals.

During this time the local vets will be able to use WSPA’s US$10,000 of veterinary supplies to treat wounds and injuries and combat malnutrition.

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