Concerns from British tourists have prompted welfare charity The Brooke to launch a campaign in Jordan to help working equines.
The “Care for Petra” campaign aims to improve tourist attitudes and behaviour towards working animals, working children and the historic monuments.
“Our visit to Petra left us with unhappy memories of the use of horses and donkeys, which we felt were not given the animal welfare and respect they deserve,” tourist Roger Giles told The Brooke.
Visitors will be given advice on ways to prevent animal suffering, are encouraged to enjoy the monuments on foot and asked not to buy items from children — as this encourages them to stay out of school.
A spokesman for The Brooke said tourists often “unintentionally use injured or weak donkeys and horses” to travel round the site.
The campaign, coordinated by The Brooke, has involved a taskforce of 11 government and non-governmental organisations in Jordan.
“Protecting Petra’s heritage, securing the future of children and improving the welfare of working animals requires a collective effort by authorities, communities and tourists alike,” said Jennifer Titmuss from The Brooke.
“This campaign calls upon tourists to play their part by making the right choices and thinking before they act, buy or ride within the park.”
Tourists waiting in the queue will be shown a video (seen top) and given flyers to explain the problems relating to animal welfare, child labour and site protection.
Visitors will also in future be told of the issues when booking their trip to Petra.
The campaign follows on from The Happy Horses Holiday Code launched by The Brooke for the travel industry in 2010.
Petra is one of the new seven wonders of the world and was famously featured in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
For more information visit: www.thebrooke.org