The Camel Law this week passed its first reading in the Knesset plenum, in a first step toward final ratification that will eventually ensure that police can finally identify wild and wandering camels on the roads of southern Israel and hold their owners responsible when they cause deadly motor vehicle accidents.
For nearly two years, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Regavim, together with MK Betzalel Smotrich, has worked on formulating a law to regulate the oversight of animals in the public domain.
The so-called “Camel Law” is aimed at putting an end to the phenomenon of wandering camels on the roads of the Negev — a situation that up to this point has claimed the lives of more Israelis than readers might realize.
The law will require all camels to be tagged with digital sub-cutaneous identification chips that record the owner’s details, much the same way as dogs are licensed in Israel.
Owners who sell their camels will be required to officially transfer ownership, in a process regulated and monitored through a Ministry of Agriculture database (just as car ownership and dog ownership are monitored and regulated by the relevant ministries).
Once the law is enacted, camel owners will be held criminally responsible for the accidents and damages caused by their animals.