This has been a landmark year for Brooke and its American fundraising affiliate, Brooke USA, headquartered in Kentucky. The equine welfare charity has met its ambitious goal, set almost six years ago, of reaching two million working horses, donkeys and mules in a single year -- more than any other organization in the world.
Brooke was determined to reach this vast number of working horses and donkeys to relieve their suffering and improve welfare through training, research, and treatment. Its annual reach has grown by more than one million animals since 2011.
It is estimated that at least 100 million equines are supporting more than 600 million people in the developing world. The majority of those animals are suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, malnourishment, crippling injuries, lameness, and/or contagious diseases, nearly all of which can be prevented with proper training for their owners.
Measuring the impact of its work is a key focus for Brooke. For example, in 2016, in Nepalese brick kilns where Brooke works, the number of animals with eye problems fell by 42%. In Brooke projects in Nicaragua, the number of severely underweight animals was reduced by 31% and Brooke Pakistan reduced by 16% the number of animals in their coal mine projects with severe wounds.
Brooke’s Chief Executive Petra Ingram said, “Reaching two million horses, donkeys and mules in a year is one of our proudest achievements. We’re so grateful to our donors for enabling us to offer support to so many animals. This success paves the way for the future of Brooke. By 2021 we want to reach even more working horses, donkeys and mules in the greatest need. And we want to ensure that Brooke makes a lasting difference to animals’ lives – so they continue to benefit for generations to come.”
Dr. David Jones, Chairman of Brooke USA, said, “Our donors in the United States have contributed to the milestone that we’re celebrating today. We’re going to rely on them very heavily in the coming years as we strive to expand and reach our next goal of five million animals each year by 2021, to relieve their suffering and to ensure a better livelihood for the people who depend on them in some of the world’s poorest countries.”
In a huge milestone for Brooke’s global animal welfare and advocacy work, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) announced this year the first set of welfare standards for working horses, donkey and mules. Furthermore, contribution of working equines to food security was officially recognized by the UN in livestock recommendations formally endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
“This means that the needs of countless horses, donkeys and mules who have labored for so long without recognition can no longer be ignored. They’re on the international agenda – giving Brooke a hard-won opportunity to reach more of the world’s 100 million working equines than ever before” said Ingram.
Brooke currently works primarily India, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and has pilot projects in a number of other developing countries.