Israel took what seems like a huge step forward for animal rights this week, when it officially banned horse-drawn or donkey-drawn carts on all city streets.
"Carts with animals harnessed to them on Israeli roads constitute a significant danger to drivers and pedestrians, and they often cause traffic delays and unnecessary traffic jams," Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz told the newspaper Haaretz.
The move puts an end to a popular era of peddlers using horses to pull carts full of repurposed second-hand items. The goods were referred to as "Alte Zachen," Haaretz reported last year:
"Alte Zachen," means "old things" in Yiddish. Traditionally shouted by the driver of the aforementioned cart, it logically became the accepted Hebrew slang name of the means by which entrepreneurial junk collectors in Israel navigate city streets collecting residents' garbage, including anything from appliances to clothing and furniture, ostensibly for resale, scrap metal or junking.
While some environmentalists praised the reuse of old items, animal activists argued that the horses were paying the price. Over the past six years, they've campaigned to get the horses off the street - and now they've achieved just that.