16 March 2023

Brooke publishes 2022 Research Review

Brooke’s Research Review for 2022 is now available to read, giving key insights into the charity’s research strategy, achievements and learnings for the year.

Boy and horse in Ethiopia. Credit Bill Bradshaw.

“2022 was a strong year for Brooke’s research objectives, leading to many invaluable learnings for the future. Entering 2023, we’ll continue to use research as the all-important foundation for contributing to lasting positive change for working donkeys and mules, and the communities that depend on them.”

Gemma Carder, Brooke Research Coordinator 

A key study from 2022 was the important contribution of donkeys to Kenya’s dairy sector. Brooke East Africa, in collaboration with the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation, found that 5.5 million litres of milk were delivered annually by donkeys supporting dairy farms in Kenya, with an estimated revenue of approximately £1.2m (KES 196 million). Donkeys were shown to play a vital role in dairy transportation through Kenya’s rough terrain and poor road networks, many of which are inaccessible by conventional modes of transport. The findings are being used in advocacy to protect donkeys from the donkey skin trade, including reinstating the ban on slaughter that was repealed in Kenya.

Research underpins all that Brooke does to achieve better working equine welfare. In 2022, Brooke undertook a mission to develop the highest quality, most ethical research as possible to inform its commitment to long-lasting change.

In a first for its region, Brooke Latin America and the Caribbean (BLAC) conducted a collaborative study in 2022 with the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Centre (CATIE), to gather evidence on the contributions of working equids to disaster risk management in Nicaragua. The country is particularly vulnerable to climate-related and other natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, droughts and hurricanes, with extreme events becoming more frequent in recent years.

The study found that 94% of participants from animal-owning Nicaraguan households acknowledged that working equids and their needs are not considered in emergency plans at community level. 90% agreed that equids suffer some kind of physical risk whilst helping families in the response and recovery stages of disaster. This research will strengthen and guide Brooke’s advocacy efforts on the inclusion of working animals, and consideration of their welfare in all stages of disaster risk management in the region.

The Review also teases Brooke’s new research strategy which launches this spring. Brooke has re-focused the vision of its Global Research Programme, to ensure that research activities and resources are delivered as effectively and ethically as possible. This has allowed Brooke’s international teams to focus their ongoing efforts on the process of generating evidence, so that information is delivered at the right time to the right stakeholders.

Brooke also continues to support Girma Asteraye, a Brooke-funded PhD candidate within the Global Burden of Disease (GBADS) programme at the University of Liverpool. Brooke hosted Girma at its London office during an international meeting of Country Programme Directors, where he gave an insightful presentation on his findings and how these contribute to Brooke’s work. Brooke is delighted to announce that The Horse Trust is administrating a grant that will fully fund the costs of Girma’s PhD, helping to raise the profile of working animals and equine welfare.

Looking to the future, Brooke will continue to strengthen its relationship with other international non-governmental organisations, universities and research institutes to promote a deeper understanding of global animal welfare.

To discuss how you could collaborate with Brooke’s research team, please contact [email protected].