What country has the third largest population of horses , donkeys and mules in the world? A total of nine million. Nine Million equines and 105 million humans. This is Ethiopia. In 2016 24% of the population lived below the international poverty line. But this was a decrease from 30% in 2011.
Most of the nine million equines are working animals. In rural areas they transport grains, water, fuel, wood and agricultural products.In the cities they transport foods and people by cart. These working animals play an important role in the lives of many people and help many families to survive but the animals welfare is very poor. That is where the Brooke comes in.
“We work with equine owners and users to share knowledge and understanding of good equine health and husbandry practices. This includes promoting practices such as wound management, eye cleaning, watering, feeding, grooming and hoof picking, and discouraging practices like beating and overloading.”
One Ethiopian donkey owner Aklilu Menberu has this to say about how the Brooke has helped him.
“Now we know the symptoms before they get sick, we treat them well and give them the rest they need,” he said. “As I have four donkeys, I can give the working donkey a rest and use the others. Previously, I have never used a working donkey for more than a year. But now, I have my donkeys for more than three to four years.”
The Brooke has been working in developing countries, since 1934, helping to educate owners of equines and to improve the working conditions for them. The people depend on their horses and donkeys to make a living and one donkey may be supporting a whole family! For more information on the wonderful work of the Brooke visit their website. https://www.thebrooke.org/
All photos in this post are from the Brooke website.