Ministry of Agriculture Brings Horse from Gaza Back to Israel

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Ohio the Horse Horse "Ohio" brought through the Erez Crossing by the Ministry of Agriculture 10.8.16. Courtesy of Ministry of Agriculture

Ministry of Agriculture Brings Horse from Gaza Back to Israel

Written by Ilana Messika/TPS on August 11, 2016

The Israeli Ministry of Agriculture conducted a recovery operation to return a horse from Gaza to its original Israeli owners on Wednesday.

A warmblood sporthorse named Ohio was sold to an Israeli horse trader before being traded to a Gazan horse trader. The equid then arrived at a farm where it was seemingly used for showjumping.

Ohaio’s original Israeli owner recently repurchased the horse from its Gazan owner and approached the Culture and Sport Ministry for help in retrieving him.

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Due to the state of the horse’s health, the Agriculture Ministry’s Veterinary Services Unit organized a unique and exceptional ex-gratia operation aimed at helping Ohio cross the border from Gaza.

To return the horse, quarantine stables were built in a community closest to the Gazan border, a point chosen especially for its vacuity of all other horses in a 300-meters radius. Ohio arrived wounded, apparently due to an ill-fitted saddle that had caused recent bruising.

The horse made it through the Erez crossing, accompanied by Ministry of Agriculture staff, which included veterinary services employees and Central Investigation and Enforcement Unit officials.

Dr. Marcelo Mikolitzki, a Veterinary Services senior physician, checked the temporary quarantine stables and completed several comprehensive and valuable verifications to ensure that the stables would indeed preserve Ohio’s welfare.

“When a horse crosses the border into Gaza where diseases are prevalent, there is a risk that the horse could bring back various diseases that may harm other animals in Israel so it has to undergo a comprehensive health examination in accordance with animal disease regulations and to maintain the welfare and health of the horse,” explained Dr. Gazelle Mildenberg, a horse doctor working for  the Veterinary Services Unit.

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