Nepal is one of the world's poorest countries, and is struggling to overcome the effects of ten years of civil war. Ranking 138th on the Human Development Index, 40 per cent of its 29.8 million people live in poverty.
Most of the country is dependent on agriculture and it’s estimated that 100,000 working horses and donkeys play an important role in supporting the livelihoods of approximately one million people.
Foreign aid is vital to Nepal, which is also heavily reliant on trade with neighbouring India.
In the hills and terai - grasslands in the foothills of the Himalayas - mules are used for transporting goods and people, while in the cities, they drive carts.
It is estimated that only 3–5 per cent of the country’s vet services reach animal owners because there is limited technical expertise and it is generally only available in cities or major districts.
Other welfare problems include a lack of vaccination programmes and poor understanding of animal welfare: preventable wounds, injuries and diseases are routine issues.
Making a difference
- Since 2008 we have been working to measurably improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules by working in partnership with Animal Health Training and Consultancy Service (AHTCS), an experienced organisation established in Nepal in 1981. We are working in Lamjung, Kaski, Myagdi, Baglung, Parbat, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Banke and Bardiya
- AHTCS has a proven track record running quality projects, and has strong links with policy-makers in Nepal.
- We train animal health workers in areas where local health providers are unavailable, providing five weeks’ training for suitable candidates.
- We supply first aid kits to working horses and donkeys to minimize the pain and suffering caused by injury or wounds on long journeys in remote areas.