CHAI was established in 1984, when animal advocacy in Israel barely existed.
Pioneering Educational and Legislative Initiatives, Campaigns, and Direct Support to Animals:
First official acknowledgment of the importance of humane treatment of animals. CHAI, together with the Ministry of Education, co-sponsored the first nationwide contest to recognize classes or individual students who carried out exceptional acts to help animals. This was the first time a government official or agency acknowledged the importance of treating animals humanely and rewarded ethical conduct toward them. The Minister of Education awarded the prizes at a public event.
First Professional Conferences on Animal-related Issues
CHAI co-sponsored, with Israel’s Ministry of Education, a conference for educators at which international experts presented the findings of scientific studies proving the link between violence toward animals and toward humans. Experts also presented studies on the value of incorporating humane education into the regular curriculum to instill empathy in children. Empathy vaccinates against future violence. Model humane education lesson plans were distributed and their methods and rationale explained. The event received widespread media attention.
Additional professional conferences addressed issues such as animal shelter management, humane animal overpopulation control, early age spay/neuter and alternatives to the use of animals in laboratories.
First humane education workshops for Jewish and Arab educators
CHAI presented the first humane education workshops for teachers, at Beit Berl College and other venues around Israel. CHAI’s humane education program for Arab schools in Israel, Expanding the Circle of Compassion, was launched at a conference for Arab educators.
Program for Jewish and Arab children
CHAI’s Living Together program brought together Jewish and Arab children to learn about animals and participate in projects to help them.
Legislative Initiatives, Direct Support To Animals And Campaigns
First Animal Protection Law
CHAI spoke out in favor of and participated in the process of drafting Israel’s Animal Protection Law. We provided model legislation to the Inter-Ministerial Committee established to draft the Law, participated in discussions of the proposed text, and submitted critiques of the draft law from U.S. animal rights attorneys. A U.S. surgeon representing CHAI testified for four hours before the Committee on the vital need to include protections for animals in laboratories. The Animal Protection Law and the Animal Experimentation Law were passed in 1994 and the latter included some of the protections we advocated.
In subsequent years, CHAI provided input to the Veterinary Services’ official charged with preparing amendments and new regulations on animal-related issues. CHAI’s sister charity in Israel, Hakol Chai, suggested and contributed to the Knesset pro-animal caucus. CHAI also successfully campaigned to pass a new regulation banning the use of horses and donkeys to haul heavy loads on city streets and highways.
First animal ambulance in the Middle East
CHAI donated the first ambulance to an animal shelter and won the right for these vehicles to enter the country duty- and tax-free like vehicles donated to public hospitals for humans.
First mobile spay/neuter clinic in the Middle East
CHAI’s clinic provided low-cost services and education in professional standards of care throughout the country. During times of war and emergency, the clinic served as a rescue vehicle, saving hundreds of animals’ lives.
Direct Support To Animals
Our Campaigns Included:
- Replacing the routine slow, painful mass strychnine poisonings of dogs with distribution of the humane rabies vaccine.
- Ending the Army’s practice of strapping dogs with tear gas and other bombs, sending them into underground Palestinian tunnels and blowing them up by remote control.
- Providing food, water, shelter and veterinary care to abandoned animals in times of emergency or war, afterwards reuniting or rehoming animals with families, including transporting animals to the U.S. for adoption there.
- Exposing horse and donkey abuse, rescuing and rehabilitating abused horses, shutting down abusers, and banning horse and donkey-drawn carts on city streets and highways.
- Pressing for equal tax and duty-free status for donated, life-saving animal and human ambulances
- Educating the public about the cruelties inherent in the horse-racing industry to prevent it from being established in Israel.
In January 2016, Israel banned gambling on horse racing.
You can help us build on our history of success for animals and people in Israel. Please donate now.