Our work here began in 1989 and treats almost 3,000 working animals in Jordan a year. Read about this diverse and beautiful country and the cases that our vet team regularly treats.
Jordan at a glance
• Population: 9.4 million
• Area: 89,342 sq km
• Location: Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia, between Israel to the west and Iraq
• Capital City: Amman
• Estimated number of working equines and camels: 25,780
Agriculture counts for nearly half of all products and services in Jordan in a year. In rural areas many people rely on working animals in order to transport themselves and goods. They are also used in farming and different animals work to plough fields.
Camels are used throughout the country for transportation; they are reliable, hardy animals that cope well with travel through desert areas. Bedouins keep camels for a variety of different reasons. Some are used to travel through desert regions, some are used for racing and others as a food source; milk.
Jordan is a popular tourist destination as it has many historical sites. Petra is a famous city in Jordan that has been used in many different films and it receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. There are many other historical sites across Jordan.
Many people choose to visit these sites by camel or have a donkey help to carry their load. These animals help their owners to generate an income from tourism.
• SPANA Jordan was established in 1989
• SPANA runs a fixed veterinary clinic at Wadi Al Seer
• One mobile veterinary clinic to reach animals in remote communities
• Each year almost 3,000 animals in Jordan are treated
• Nosebands and head collars are distributed across the country
Teaching children to care
SPANA believes the only way to ensure a better future for working animals is to educate children about animal welfare at an early age. Our extensive education programme in Jordan teaches more than 2,500 children a year:
• There are 85 Animal Welfare Clubs across Jordan
• Workshops and classes are run in 126 schools across the country
• SPANA’s education centre in Amman provides children with animal welfare classroom activities and tours of the centre to see working animals being treated. Children get the chance to experience handling rabbits and guineas pigs which helps to develop positive attitudes and empathy towards animals.
MEET THE COUNTRY DIRECTOR – DR GHAZI MUSTAFA
What is it like working for SPANA in Jordan?
After I left the army I joined SPANA Jordan in 1995, and I have learned so much about animals. I have really enjoyed helping all kinds of different animals. I have never wanted to feel that I have been unable to help an animal so I have dedicated my life, day and night, to helping them. Animals in Jordan suffer from a variety of different problems; mostly ill treatment due to ignorance. Educating owners and the younger generation is the key to changing the future for animals in Jordan to ensure they are treated with kindness and are well looked after.
I have treated many different kinds of animals and as a vet I feel so happy when I see animals recovering after an operation. If an animal requires surgery then it is because they have really got to the stage where they are very sick. When they recover I feel incredibly satisfied and happy. Without SPANA providing all the facilities and the medicine then it would be impossible for us to help these animals.
What has been a memorable experience whilst working for SPANA?
Years ago as I used to leave my house to go to work, my children would notice me going. One day my oldest child, my daughter, decided she would like to join me. After that she wanted to come back every day to help the animals. When she was younger she had always said that she wanted to be a dentist, but the effect of seeing these animals in need meant that after she finished school she actually decided to become a vet. I’m so happy that the younger generations are moving into careers that improve animal welfare, and I hope that my daughter will continue to help animals for many years to come.
What is your favourite thing about Jordan?
The Jordanian desert is incredibly beautiful. You have to see it to believe it as it’s like another planet. In the summer the night sky looks amazing. If you are very lucky you will be able to see so many wonderful creatures in the desert, including the camels that SPANA helps to treat.
There are many animals that migrate over Jordan to Africa so we get to see them during the year as well. Of course I have to mention our ancient cities such as the one at Petra; it is a World Heritage Site that is a very important part of human history and culture