Take a closer look
In India, the working equine is the primary source of livelihood and each horse/mule typically supports approximately a family of 6. Equine owners encounter significant challenges in raising and caring for them, due to archaic care and management practices traditionally followed. Their work in the Brick Kilns (BK) industry, which is the largest employer of working equines, is strenuous and undertaken in tough working conditions in a harsh environment. This takes a huge toll on these sentient creatures, who often fall ill due to overwork, improper care, and inadequate access to proper nourishment and clean water. The outdated traditional veterinary and farriery practices followed by the equine-owning community also give rise to substantial animal welfare concerns.
Brooke India’s Journey
Since its establishment in India in 1992, Brooke India has undergone remarkable growth. BI began as a mobile ambulance team providing free treatment to suffering animals and now has evolved into a collaborative effort with local communities, large organizations, and government entities. Brooke India strives to raise awareness about the plight of working horses, donkeys, and mules, and address the underlying issues through sustainable measures, bringing about lasting change to eliminate these challenges once and for all.
For over three decades, Brooke India has been dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys, and mules. Throughout its evolution, the program has undergone several phases, each with specific objectives and strategies:
- In the first phase, the focus was on providing veterinary services for working equines, which were directly managed and supervised by Brooke UK.
- The second phase shifted the attention to equine welfare by offering free veterinary and support services to working equines at fixed locations.
- The third phase aimed to achieve long-term and sustainable improvements in equine welfare by actively engaging equine owners in the process.
- In the fourth phase, a holistic approach was adopted, emphasizing the strengthening of the local service delivery system in addition to the aforementioned interventions.
- The current and fifth phase employs a multi-pronged approach. It involves the formation and capacity building of Women and Men Equine Welfare Groups (EWGs) and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). Comprehensive equine health services are provided, and local health providers are trained to enhance their capacity. Moreover, linkages are established between the EWGs and service providers trained by Brooke India. Additionally, special attention is given to Brick Kilns (BKs) as these sites offer significant livelihood opportunities to equine owners for a considerable portion of the year
Furthermore, Brooke India (BI) extends emergency treatment services to working equines in urgent need of medical intervention. These services adhere to the guidelines established in the Brooke Service Provision. Specifically, BI ensures that dedicated equine fair extension interventions are in place to promptly address and attend to the critical healthcare needs of working horses, donkeys, and mules. By offering timely emergency treatment, BI aims to alleviate suffering and provide vital care to these equines when they require immediate medical attention.
Throughout these phases, Brooke India has remained committed to its mission of improving the well-being of working equines and has implemented a range of interventions to address their needs effectively.