The Birqash camel market just outside Cairo is not a place for animal lovers. Hundreds of camels for sale are placed in enclosures. They are then brought out with the use of sticks, and beaten continuously by several men who try and prevent the camels from running away.
The camels are beaten into a circle consisting of a dozen or so prospective buyers. Their natural instinct to run out of the circle is quickly interrupted by a throng of blows to their knees, necks and bodies. Some camels do however manage to escape if only for a short period, running uncontrollably down the main thoroughfare, before being beaten back to the enclosure.
Once a buyer has been identified, the camels are again beaten all the way to the new owner's enclosure from where they are loaded onto trucks for the journey to their new home. Or slaughter house.
Birqash camel market, Cairo, Egypt, 2010.
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