For Immediate Release:
May 15, 2023
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
New York – More than a million people planning trips to Egypt online have gotten an unexpected behind-the-scenes look at how camels and horses at the pyramids of Giza suffer when they’re forced to give visitors rides on their backs or pull them in heavy carts, courtesy of a new spoof tourism video from PETA Asia running on major travel sites, including Lonely Planet and National Geographic. The video campaign follows the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities’ (MoTA) failure to keep its promise to ban horse-drawn carriages from the site.
Opening with an aerial view of the Great Sphinx of Giza, the video’s narrator proclaims, “Behold the jaw-dropping sights of Egypt,” before cutting to real-life tourist footage of workers beating frightened camels and whipping malnourished horses across their heads and backs. The video concludes, “A trip to Egypt will be a memory you’ll never forget. No matter how hard you try.”
Newly released footage from PETA Asia shows camels at the notorious Birqash Camel Market with bloody faces and men repeatedly whipping and hitting them as they scream. Their legs are bound tightly together to prevent them from moving, and some are seen tied to the backs of vehicles and dragged through the dirt.
“Tourists should know what they’ll really see at the Giza archaeological sites: wounded, bleeding animals forced to give rides and denied veterinary care, adequate food, and water,” says PETA Asia Senior Vice President Jason Baker. “PETA Asia is calling on the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to make good on its promise to switch to eco-friendly electric carts and is imploring people never to ride on animal’s back or in an animal-drawn carriage at a tourist site or anywhere else.”
PETA Asia has shared many videos like these with the MoTA—including footage of a horse in Giza collapsing while pulling a carriage and being beaten until she managed to stand up again. Other videos show horses with open sores and severe, untreated injuries forced to wait for the next paying customer in the blistering heat without shade or water and trying to subsist by eating trash. The ministry responded by informing PETA Asia that it won’t be providing water or shade for the horses until the second half of 2023.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.