The Law Requiring Identification and Registration of Livestock, which passed its final Knesset approval last week by a very wide margin, requires livestock to be registered and tracked with a microchip inserted below the skin, in much the same way as dog owners have been required to register their pets.

This will enable the authorities to hold camel owners responsible for their herds, and will quickly put an end to the phenomenon of camels wandering onto the roads of the Negev.

Between 2008-2015, more than 7,000 reports of wandering camels were received by the Israel Police.

Over the past 10 years, camel accidents have taken the lives of 15 motorists and injured another 350, yet in all but one case the authorities were unable to identify the owners. The new law stipulates that owners whose camels are allowed to wander will be charged with criminal negligence should their livestock cause damage. The idea is to create a strong deterrent and require those who wish to raise camels to do so responsibly.

The law’s passage, following a joint effort by Knesset members Betzalel Smotrich, Roy Folkman, Eitan Cabel and Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel, was a bittersweet achievement for the families whose loved ones were killed in camel accidents.

Although their interest in this legislation was born of personal tragedy, they welcomed the new law’s passage, stressing that it must be implemented fully and swiftly in order to insure that no more lives are lost.