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PDTRA, KBW Investments sign memo to protect service animals in Petra

By JT - Jul 12,2018 - Last updated at Jul 12,2018

A horse-pulled wagon carrying tourists in Petra’ Siq (natural gorge) recently (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — The Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) and KBW Investments on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding on protecting animals in ancient city of Petra.

The memorandum, which was signed by PDTRA Chief Commissioner Falah Omoush and Chairperson of KBW Prince Khaled Bin Alwaleed, aims to regulate and improve transportation and services for visitors of Petra, 235km south of Amman, a PDTRA statement said.

During the signing ceremony, Tourism Minister Lina Annab said that the memo would enhance the ministry’s and PDTRA's efforts to improve the welfare of animals working in the rose-red city.

The memo stipulates putting in place a plan that includes awareness raising programmes that target all branches of the local community to ensure the proper treatment of animals, said the minister.

The campaign will be an implementation of the animal treatment principles in Islamic teachings, Annab said, adding that animal mistreatment is also a crime under Jordanian law.

For his part, Prince Khaled stressed his keenness on supporting the Kingdom in all fields including development and services.

Omoush expressed appreciation for the prince’s efforts to help address the issue through the deal.

Under the memo, shelters and animal clinics will be established, in addition to training staff, the official noted.

The animal clinics in the zone will be provided with all the necessary equipment and cadres, and all service animals at the site will have periodic check-ups and medical records.

The statement said that electric vehicles will be introduced to carry visitors, stopping short of saying whether such a development is a step towards replacing the animals with environmental-friendly vehicles.

Animal rights group Peta earlier this year launched an international campaign to try to end the mistreatment of animals serving in Petra, a World Wonder since 2007.

The report included videos and photographs purportedly showing the beating of animals and exposing wounds caused by unsuitable saddles and harnesses. 

Peta said donkeys, horses and camels are being beaten and forced to carry visitors in extreme heat without shade or water.

Meanwhile, authorities and local community representatives pledged to intensify efforts to improve the conditions of animal welfare at the ancient city, stressing that animal mistreatment is punishable under the Jordanian Penal Code.

According to its website, the Dubai-based KBW Investment group’s companies work in differentsectors including construction, manufacturing, engineering, project management, automation, technology and more. 

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