There are approximately three million working equines in Egypt according to the latest FAO stats. The working horses, donkeys and mules in Egypt carry out a wide range of work types. The animals are used for transportation of passengers, transportation of goods by carts in urban areas in the busy cities and towns, riding animals both in rural and tourist areas, they are used to work the vast agricultural lands and for the transportation of building material e.g. metals, cement, and bricks in the brick factories. The working equines carry top heavy loads, in the punishing heat, on dusty roads and in the fields to earn a meager income for the hard-pressed owners. And the hard work takes its tolls.
About Brooke Hospital for Animals Egypt
The Brooke Hospital for Animals Egypt’s (BHA-Egypt) mission is to realise a sustainable improvement in the animal welfare for the working equines in its area of operation. And by helping the animals, BHA-Egypt is indirectly helping the local animal owners and users who for their livelihood fully depend on these working equines.
To achieve this mission, Brooke Hospital for Animals Egypt:
- provides free veterinary service in static clinics and with mobile clinics to alleviate the suffering of working equines
- raises awareness of animals owners and users with regard to equine welfare
- builds the capacity of the local service providers (farriers, saddle makers etc.).
The dedicated BHA-Egypt veterinary and educational teams provide good quality veterinary care and use effective educational methods with the aim to let the working animals live without pain, hunger or fear and to give them the freedom to express natural behaviour.
Direct veterinary aid, in static clinics and with mobile clinics
Brooke Hospital for Animals Egypt has six static clinics, in Cairo (1934), Alexandria (1961), Luxor (1966), Edfu (1992), Aswan (1998) and Mersa Matrouh (2000) and it has an office in Mansoura (2005), which is the station for three mobile clinics.
In addition to the static clinics BHA-Egypt has 28 mobile veterinary teams, which go out on field visits on a daily basis to the animals in their working environment and to more distant locations where working animals need help. Each mobile team can examine and treat up to 60 animals per day. Brooke Hospital Egypt treats around 160.000 horses, donkeys and mules each year.
Raising the awareness of animal owners, users and other stakeholders
Education is a crucial aspect of the work of BHA-Egypt. It also plays a key role in the prevention of some of health issues According to Brooke-Egypt’s recent estimates there are 222,000 working equines living in BHA-Egypt’s areas of operation. These animals need to rest regularly in the shade, drink water and get proper food and have access to free veterinary treatment. Through its educational programme BHA-Egypt spreads the message of animal welfare among the principle stakeholders. Education and awareness sessions, either to individuals or for groups, are organised for the owners and users in the equine owning communities. Special training sessions are organised for local service providers (farriers, saddle makers etc.).
Educating women through “Rural guides activities”
The rural guides are local women who are well established in their communities, and who have access to most of the families in their villages. They are effectively delivering our animal welfare messages. The BHA Egypt field teams, especially in Edfu and Aswan, collaborate with rural guides to ensure the messages on animal welfare reach the women in the households, who are responsible for the animals during stabling time after the long work days.
Spreading the lessons on the importance of animal welfare through illiteracy classes
BHA Egypt developed an animal welfare syllabus which is used for adult education, in cooperation with the Governmental Adult Illiteracy Eradication program. The BHA adult illiteracy curriculum was first tested in Aswan region, after proving successful; the approach was extended to Edfu, Alexandria and Matrouh.
In the animal owning communities, children are today’s users and tomorrow’s owners. Children are working at building terrains and on agricultural fields, and they drive their horse or donkey driven carts amongst the heavy traffic of Egypt’s cities. The BHA-Egypt program is focusing on those children with education and awareness sessions. School visits are a successful way to change the children’s attitude with regard to animals and to build their knowledge, using simple and practical curriculums. Also, writing and drawing competitions are organised to motivate the children to give their animals the proper care and attention.
Best donkey/best horse competitions
BHA-Egypt also encourages proper animal care through positive initiatives, like the Healthy Donkey/Horse Good Owner Competitions. Gradually the owners come to realise that it is in their own interest to care for their animals in the ways we advise. Evidence of our success can be seen in the improved condition of draught animals in the areas in which we operate. Constant attention is paid to effectively measure the impact of our work.
The Head Office and main clinic of Brooke Hospital for Animals Egypt is still situated today on the location of Dorothy Brooke’s hospital for old war horses. Brooke Hospital Egypt treats around 160.000 horses, donkeys and mules each year, but the need is still enormous. There are an estimated three million working horses and donkeys in Egypt and there are still many regions where the help of BHA-Egypt teams is much needed.