Vegan Saudi Arabian Prince Khaled Alwaleed signed a memo earlier this week in support of improved conditions for service animals used to pull carriages in the historical city of Petra, Jordan. In addition to ensuring improved conditions for animals, the prince hopes to introduce electric vehicles to carry visitors, reports local news source Jordan Times.
Alwaleed, representing his venture capital firm KBW Investments, along with Falah Omous, Chief Commissioner of The Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), aim to put in place measures that would raise awareness of animal welfare in the community. The programs would help to ensure the proper treatment of animals such as horses, donkeys, and camels.
The programs would draw from Islamic teachings regarding compassion towards animals. Tourism Minister Lina Annab added that the measures would bolster the ministry’s efforts to strengthen protections and noted that animal mistreatment is also a crime under Jordanian law. Representatives of the local authority and community have also pledged to do their part in bettering the lives of service animals as civilian inspectors.
“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Al Waleed Bin Talal Al Saud and to all those who worked for his illustrious organization KBW in Jordan, who gave us a great deal of generosity and kindness, stressing their keenness to address this problem radically,” said Issa Gammoh, secretary general of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
Under the programs, Alwaleed would support the city of Petra in developing shelters and clinics for the city’s service animals as well as aid in ensuring that all staff members receive proper training. Clinics will all be equipped with the necessary technology, a medical record system, and all animals will receive periodic check-ups.
🇯🇴💚 PDTRA and #KBW_Ventures sign proposal to contribute to Petra site restoration and protect working animals with the aim of supporting the Jordanian tourism sector. More details in the link then the bio 😊🙏🏼 . PDTRA و KBW Ventures يوقعان اتفاقية لترميم موقع البتراء ، وحماية الحيوانات العاملة؛و دعم قطاع السياحة الأردني مزيد من المعلوماندت في الرابط على البايو. . #crueltyfree
Other improvements include prohibiting carriage drivers from forcing service animals to walk on dangerous paths or carry heavy loads, as well as campaigns to raise awareness of animal welfare and stronger efforts to enforce current laws. Water stations will also be built, to provide fresh water to carriage animals throughout the city. Omoush expressed appreciation for the vegan prince’s efforts in helping the ancient city of Petra strengthen its animal rights protections.
Earlier this year, international animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) launched a campaign that revealed the ongoing mistreatment of service animals in Petra. Video footage and photographs showed that horses, donkeys, and camels were subjected to routine abuse and were left with untreated wounds caused by tight saddles and harnesses. Animals were forced to carry visitors without access to shade or water in spite of the city’s high temperatures.
Alwaleed has been a strong proponent of animal rights and has spearheaded several welfare-related efforts through his venture capital firm, KBW Ventures. Last April, the vegan prince announced that the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, would be home to an animated fishless aquarium as soon as 2020. Alwaleed is also leading an effort to open 10 vegan restaurants across the Middle East. Through KBW Ventures, Alwaleed invests in a variety of new technologies, including construction, automation, and clean meat in an effort to modernize the Middle East, reduce animal suffering, and to help build a sustainable future.
The memo did not note whether Petra’s new electric vehicle program will eventually replace carriage animals entirely.
Image Credit: Khaled bin Alwaleed