6 Feb 2011

Pakistan floods six months on – reconstruction leaves working horses and donkeys at further risk


Last weekend marked the six months since the floods hit Pakistan, affecting thousands of working horses and donkeys.  Animals that survived the floods are now at risk again.
Leading animal welfare organization, the Brooke, is renewing its appeal to help horses and donkeys affected by the floods – more specifically those involved in reconstruction. Horses and donkeys are at the forefront of rebuilding hospitals, schools and houses, but it will take millions of bricks, all carried on the backs of loyal animals.
Brooke’s Head of Animal Welfare and Research, Karen Reed, adds:  “Animals that have been surviving on the bare minimum of food and water, often with little veterinary care, are already exhausted and weak. Yet some of them now face a season of gruelling hard labour in the country’s brick kilns. With temperatures in brick kilns reaching up to 45°C, dehydrated horses, donkeys and mules could easily lose their lives.”
Working life in the brick kilns of Pakistan is tough at the best of times for people and animals. With the floods destroying homes, animal shelters, water pumps and fields of vital grazing crops, horses and donkeys are now even more vulnerable to disease, malnutrition and dehydration.
Dr Zahid Nawaz, Veterinary Officer for the Brooke Peshawar team, adds: “Many people lost their jobs due to brick kilns being destroyed, they’re also struggling to rebuild their homes – this situation has left families and animals at risk. Equine animals are being made to work even harder to meet the demand for bricks. The Brooke is working to improve animal welfare to keep life going at the brick kilns.”
The Brooke is helping horses and donkeys working in brick kilns through first aid, vaccinations and working with their owners to promote better welfare now and in the future.
For more information on the Brooke’s appeal, visit www.thebrooke.org/pakistanbrickkilns

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