Together with two young Egyptian veterinarians – Omar and Islam – we visit the camel market in Birqash near Cairo. As during our previous visits, we are confronted with brute force and ruthlessness. The people on the market do not seem to feel any empathy for the animals.
We intervene to prevent the animals from being beaten and try to explain to the workers how to load them without violence. But again and again, we see camels with bloody eyes and noses. Camel cow Clara is in a particularly bad condition, her heavy bleeding wounds on her face can hardly be quenched. When we ask the owner about it, he wants to talk his way out of it and claims that another camel has caused the wound. We see stuck camels with broken legs, emaciated animals, animals with festering tumors, skin rashes and a camel with a badly bleeding organ prolapse.
Omar and Islam help and do what they can, clean and treat wounds, and talk to people using all their powers of persuasion. But in a country without animal welfare regulations or official veterinary controls it is extremely difficult to enforce improvements for the animals.
When we sit in the car after the last market day, we are exhausted and desperate. But we agree: We must not abandon the camels and will continue to be with the animals at the market in Birqash.