Brooke Action for Working Horses and Donkeys attended the 86th World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) General Session this week, 20 – 25 May, championing the needs of working animals. The week culminated in Brooke, as chair of the International Coalition for Working Equids, signing a Letter of Intent with the OIE to provide major support to the implementation of the OIE standards that benefit working horses, donkeys and mules.
The OIE International Standards exist to provide 182 countries around the world with a set of guidelines on various aspects of animals’ lives, to improve welfare, and how they’re implemented was a key topic of discussion at the OIE General Session. Brooke previously supported the OIE to create codes specifically for working horses, donkeys and mules, the ‘Welfare of Working Equids’ standards.
Brooke representatives Frances Goodrum, Dr Laura Skippen and CEO Petra Ingram met with likeminded organisations, individuals and Chief Veterinary Officers from around the world to discuss the standards. On Wednesday, Petra signed and delivered a letter to the OIE from the International Coalition for Working Equids (ICWE). The Coalition, made up of Brooke, The Donkey Sanctuary, Society For Protection Of Animals Abroad (SPANA) and World Horse Welfare, exists to promote and help implement the welfare standards.
As part of the Letter of Intent, OIE has agreed to run several regional workshops on animal welfare, including one taking place in Brazil in the Americas Region and on in Lesotho in the African region. The ICWE has committed to fund a day dedicated to equine welfare as part of these workshops. As well as these, the ICWE is supporting creation of a series of educational videos using clips taken directly from their field work, to be used by Chief Veterinary Officers and OIE Animal Welfare Representatives, helping them to implement the ‘Welfare of Working Equid’ standards. The Coalition will also facilitate translation of the standards into Arabic.
This is another big step towards getting these animals the recognition they deserve
Petra Ingram said after delivering the letter:
“What we’ve achieved collectively this week demonstrates the value of partnering with global institutions like OIE, who have the reach and access that can truly change the lives of these critical and largely invisible working horses, donkeys and mules.
We can achieve more than the sum of our parts by working together to fund these activities. We have also set in place a new way of working with the OIE that could be replicated by others in the future.
This is another big step towards getting these animals the recognition they deserve as one of the most over-burdened workforces powering the developing world.”
Petra signed on behalf of Dr Mactar Seck, Brooke’s Programme Manager for Brooke West Africa, who has been specifically responsible for chairing the coalition on behalf of Brooke.