In the course of joint action by inspectors from the Central Investigation and Enforcement Unit (PITZUACH) in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Green Police, accompanied by a police force, three camels wee found loitering inside a firing zone near Tzeelim without a permit and unmarked as required by law, endangering the lives of the camels and endangering the lives of road users. In the course of herding the camels for their urgent evacuation, a vehicle arrived on the scene. Driving recklessly it hit one of the camels and broke both its hind legs to prevent the evacuation from being completed. The camel collapsed on the spot unable to move, writhing in pain. At this stage the Ministry inspectors and the green police requested police assistance in finding the owner, who fled the scene in his vehicle.
A veterinarian had no choice but to put down the animal to prevent its further suffering due to its irreversible injury. The other two camels were evacuated and transported to a Ministry of Agriculture quarantine station.
Following repeat cases of camels loitering in the south, two weeks ago regulations were enacted requiring the tagging of the animals so as to prevent similar incidents from recurring. There are three main points in the law which could potentially reduce this problem dramatically: first of all, a requirement will be set to label all camels with a subcutaneous chip, which will enable perpetual and unmistakable identification of the camel and its owner. Secondly, a requirement to register ownership in a database will be set. The database will be set up for this purpose at the Veterinary Services. And third and most important, a criminal presumption will be set, as in the case of the vehicle registry in the Vehicle Licensing Department, which will specify that whoever is registered in the registry as the owner of the camel will be criminally liable for negligence and criminality in supervising the camel.
Manager of the Central Investigation and Enforcement Unit (PITZUACH) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Southern District, Naphthali Dadon: “The activity was planned both in order to evacuate the camels from the firing zone, which endangers them, as well as to prevent camels from approaching roads, thereby endangering the users of those roads. The case we witnessed today was shocking, we have never yet encountered a camel owner that would knowingly injure his own camel irreversibly this way. We are still in shock from this incident, and we hope the police will find him so as to enable us to bring him to justice”.