March 7, 2023: Gunfire has broken out in Omsyhoon between villagers and police, a volatile situation that’s making it impossible for PETA-supported veterinary clinic staff to reach injured donkeys and other weary animals who rely on their free care. The government had promised to compensate villagers each month after limiting the number of animals who work in tourism, but when the payments apparently failed to come through, animal handlers began protesting, and things quickly became violent.
The PETA-supported clinic uses its mobile facility to provide working animals with free care each day, and it’s their only hope for relief. The staff treats those suffering from painful limbs, infected wounds, and other problems that result because handlers neglect their health, beat them, deny them adequate water and food, and force them to keep moving up and down the 900 crumbling stone steps to the monastery. We’re on standby, awaiting the opportunity to reenter Petra and help animals in the surrounding villages.