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Gaza zoo rescue mission postponed
FOUR PAWS aims to resume the rescue mission once the situation has improved.

Borders closed owing to violent escalations

Plans to evacuate 40 animals from Gaza's most notorious zoo have been postponed due to ongoing unrest.

Veterinary charity FOUR PAWS had planned to rescue the animals from Rafah Zoo in March and transfer them to sanctuaries in Jordan and South Africa. But owing to violent escalations on the Gaza strip, the borders have been closed, preventing the team from entering the country.

The charity aims to resume the rescue mission once the situation has improved. Until then, locals inside the Gaza borders are lending their support by feeding the animals.

FOUR PAWS veterinary surgeon and head of mission Dr Amir Khalil said: “Due to the closed borders, it was impossible for our team to enter Gaza. However, we are keeping an eye on the situation and the rescue will take place once the security situation has stabilised.

“We remain on standby and are ready to go through with the rescue at any time. No matter how long we have to wait, we will not give up on the animals of Rafah Zoo”.

Rafah Zoo attracted worldwide attention in January when it emerged that four lion cubs had frozen to death due to harsh weather and poor keeping conditions. A few weeks later a lioness was brutally declawed with a set of garden shears.

The zoo opened on the Egyptian border in 1999 and, from there, wild animals are repeatedly smuggled through underground tunnels to and from Gaza. Since the zoo opened, many of the animals have died in rocket attacks and war battles.

At the time of writing, a petition calling for the zoo’s closure had reached more than 153,000 signatures.


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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."