3 January 2024

Five big moments in 2023

Children at the Tulimani Primary School Donkey Care Club, Kenya.

Brooke remains committed to protecting and improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in 2024.

We directly reached 1.4 million working equines in 2022/23. And for the first time ever, we measured our indirect reach to benefit approximately 4.2 million working equines.

Here’s five key moments from 2023:

1. The African Union endorses Brooke’s recommendation for a ban on the donkey skin trade

In November, we received the fantastic news that the African Union had endorsed a report produced by the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) with support from Brooke, which called for a ban on the donkey skin trade. Now, the report’s recommendation will be put forward to the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments for adoption in February 2024.

Over the last decade, hundreds of thousands of donkeys have been slaughtered for their skins and exported. Driven by demand from China for the Traditional Chinese medicine, the trade has had a detrimental impact on both the overall donkey population in Africa and the livelihoods of those who depend on them. Full details here.

2. Brooke launches Action for Animal Health report at UK Parliament

In July, we were pleased to join many of our Action for Animal Health partners at the House of Commons for the formal launch of the coalition’s report, The Case for Investing in Animal Health to Support One Health. The reception was sponsored by former Green Party leader Baroness Natalie Bennett and featured speakers including Dr Keith Sumption, Chief Veterinary Officer of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and Dr Tewodros Tesfaye, Programme Manager at Brooke Ethiopia.

More than 75% of all new human infectious diseases come from animals, as highlighted by recent outbreaks of avian influenza, COVID-19 and ebola. The report explains that risks to global human, animal and environmental health could be reduced with a stronger animal health workforce, better access to veterinary medicines, and improved disease surveillance. Read more.

3. Brooke helps communities impacted by devastating East Africa drought

The Horn of Africa region was hit by its worst drought in 40 years. Brooke teams in Kenya, Somalialand and Ethiopia assisted communities and animals by providing initial relief in the form of food and water and by boosting longer term resilience.

The drought cycle in this region dates back to as early as 1974, growing in frequency and intensity as climate change and environmental degradation worsens. Find out more.

4. 10 years of the Animal Health Mentoring Framework

We marked the tenth anniversary of our innovative Animal Health Mentoring Framework, a training method created to equip animal health workers with the essential skills and capabilities required to provide compassionate and competent care.

Vets play a vital role in supporting animals, owners and communities around the world. Unfortunately, many of them receive varying levels of training, which can lead to poor handling, incorrect diagnosis and spread of disease. Unique to Brooke, this technique has enabled us to improve animal health and welfare in communities far beyond our own reach by strengthening existing systems and equipping workers with the skills they need. Read about it here.

5. Brooke ensures animals are included in Central America's first ever national disaster drill

Brooke research has shown that working animals play a vital role in the before, during and after response phases of disasters.

Last spring, Brooke Latin America and Caribbean supported the Nicaraguan government in holding Central America’s first-ever national drill for the preparation and protection of life in multi-threat situations. By using the scenario of an earthquake and volcanic eruption, two million people took part in the response drill, which, for the first time, included protections for animals such as shelter, food and water supplies, and veterinary support. Watch this video.

These are just some of the moments that have made us proud of our work. None would have been achieved without our amazing supporters. But the work is not done. In 2024, we mark 90 years since the creation of Brooke, and we will continue to give working horses, donkeys and mules a life worth living.