100 million horses, donkeys and mules are hard at work as you read this. They are the engines that power the world’s poorest communities. An estimated 600 million people rely on the labour of these stoic animals to survive. Sadly, many of these working equines suffer ill health, exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition as a direct result of unmanageable workloads.
Millions of working animals endure extreme suffering every day, and that threatens the livelihoods of millions of people who rely on them.
The Brooke’s vision is a world where working horses, donkeys and mules are free from suffering. The charity continually strives to improve the welfare of working animals and, in turn, the communities they support. A key part of their work is enabling people to implement good husbandry through community education. It is through changing attitudes and practises that the greatest long-term impact on equine welfare is achieved. The uptake of the Brooke’s services increased by 26% in 2013 – its teams now reach 1.17 million working equines animals in 11 countries very year and they are on target to reach two million a year by 2016.
The Brooke’s work in Pakistan
One of the countries where the Brooke works is Pakistan where there are 4.5 million working equines. There are a number of hospitals in this country and mobile teams work in many rural areas. More and more local people are now attending the Brooke’s community training sessions and then passing on their knowledge to people in other villages. This not only benefits the welfare of the animals, but also has a positive impact on the livelihood of their owners and users. This is a testament to the efforts and skill of the Brooke’s field teams. In 2013, the Brooke worked with communities to construct 108 water troughs and 2871 canvas water buckets to protect thousands of horses from heat stress and dehydration – but so much more needs to be done.
The Burton Brooke Project – fundraising to support a project in Pakistan
We chose The Brooke as our charity of the year in 2014. In September we held an evening at the yard in aid of The Brooke. We are very proud to announce we raised over £10,000 to fund a project in one of six regions in Pakistan where working equines transport heavy loads of building materials, agricultural products, timber and passengers every day of every week. Temperatures can soar to 52 degrees centigrade and the animals commonly suffer from heat stress, colic, skin lesions, breathing difficulties and musculoskeletal problems. Community Mobile Vet Clinics seek to alleviate these issues through provision of veterinary treatments, education and increasing owner/user awareness around basic management practices – preventing future injuries.
Each year we kick the booze in July in order to help raise money for adults living with cancer. Dry July is an Australian-based charity and is not only a very worthy cause but also a great excuse to focus on your health mid-season.