A program for saving horses and donkeys that have fallen victims to abuse

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development operates a special program aimed at saving horses and donkeys that have fallen victims to abuse. The program, initiated by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Shalom Simchon, began in 2007 and due to its great success, continued operating in 2009.

As part of the program, Ministry of Agriculture teams rescue animals abused or neglected by their owners and transfer them to sheltered facilities for treatment and rehabilitation until they gain strength sufficiently. Then, those animals are going to be adopted by new families interested in providing them with warm and loving homes. So far, approximately 50 such adoptive families have received horses that have been rescued from abuse and rehabilitated in sheltered facilities.


The rescue campaigns are carried out by the Veterinary Services and by the Plants and Animals Supervision Unit who are often aided by the Police during operations. Usually the campaigns are launched as a result of complaints received at the Ministry of Agriculture and the municipal veterinary services regarding abuse of horses. As soon as the information has been delivered and verified, teams from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services and Plants and Animals Supervision Unit visit the relevant locations. Their findings then dictate decisions regarding subsequent action.


This type of rescue campaign is held throughout the country - among others, horses have been rescued in Dimona, Merchavia, Kiryat Atta, Moshav Ein Vered, Gedera and Be'er Sheva. The dozens of horses and donkeys rescued have been transferred for treatment and rehabilitation.


Families interested in adopting horses and donkeys as part of the program are required to meet a number of criteria:


·   Residence in a rural environment.

·   Knowledge and experience in maintaining horses.

·   The existence of a shaded and fitting facility to keep the

   horses and a yard for the

·   horses' physical exercise.

·   Completion of a long selection process and qualification

   period, including a telephone selection procedure and

          interview and a visit to the family home

·   At least a medium-high level of income due to the high

   costs involved in raising horses (the total maintenance

   cost for a horse stands at approximately 1000 NIS per



To submit a report regarding diseases and to receive information about horses you can contact the horse veterinarian or regional Veterinary Bureaus:


Dr. Tzvia Mildenberg, horse vet at the Veterinary Services: 03-9681752




Be'er Sheva


Kiryat Shmona and Tiberias


Nazareth and Akko









Horse and Donkey Rescue Stories (In Hebrew)