Police identify heavy construction in Tel Aviv as the root cause of depriving horses of sleep and recurring injuries; Public security minister; ‘We have a moral obligation to take care of animals used in security.’

The Tel Aviv District Police Department (TADPD) has recently discovered a new problematic phenomenon stemming from intense building construction near police horse farms which is rendering its horses unfit for service.

As a result of the incessant noise, the horses, which are constantly on alert to be sent to confront any security situation, suffer from distress and concomitant injuries.

Until a few years ago, there were about 16 active duty horses in the TADPD which were raised in a special farm near the Herzliya police station. Today however, half of them are not fit to serve due to various wounds which they have sustained.

Three years ago, construction work began on tall residential buildings in close proximity to the farms. Unbeknownst to police, the developments were taking their toll on the physical well being of the police cavalry horses themselves. However, as time passed, they became increasingly aware of the recurring injuries.

Photo: Police spokesperson's unit
Photo: Police spokesperson’s unit


Time after time, the horses were injured and bleeding from their hooves and on their legs which prevented them from being deployed in police activities for varying time periods depending on the severity of the injury.

Since the police failed to understand the cause of the injuries, psychologists and horse experts were brought to the farm in order to ascertain their origins. After a short while, they discovered that the noise caused by the construction in the vicinity, which continues practically uninterrupted day and night, was causing shock to the horses and consequently depriving them of sufficient rest or sleep. Agitated, the horses repeatedly stamp their hooves and push each other thereby causing injuries as they crash into the metal railing in which they are enclosed.

As a result of the injuries, three of the horses have recently been taken off active police duty. The number of ready-for-duty horses has been reduced to just 13. However, of these 13, five are currently injured.

“It really breaks my heart to see what the horses go through,” said a policeman familiar with their suffering. “They suffer from the noise in the surroundings of the farm and are not able to function. It harms them and it harms us, as well as the work of the police.” Professionals who checked the horses all agreed that finding a new home for the horses was of paramount importance.

So serious had the matter become, workers in the farm raised the subject with the local police commander, Moshe (Chico) Edri who then brought it to the direct attention of Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan who gave the green light to finding a new and more appropriate home for the horses. Thus far however, all attempts to find new stables have failed.

Some of the farms to which some wanted to send the horses were on agricultural lands or without proper permits. Other farm owners refused to take the horses fearing that they would would be unable to handle such a large number of police horses while simultaneously managing their business of raising regular horses.

At the request of the minister, a special team in the police was therefore established specifically to find a plot of land in any area in central Israel on which a new farm can be established. “I was shocked to see the suffering of the police horses,” Erdan lamented on Saturday. “We have a moral obligation to take care of the animals which are used in the police and which, in practice, protect us with their bodies. I will do everything possible to relieve their distress.”

As reported by Ynetnews