Nepal

In 2007 we began working in Nepal, a country with an estimated 100,000 working horses and donkeys.

Nepal at a glance

Nepal flag

Population: 28.5 million
Percentage of population living below the international poverty line: 15%
Number of working equines: 100,000

Sources: World Bank 2015, World Bank 2010

Background

Nepal is one of the world's poorest countries, where working horses and donkeys play an important role in supporting the livelihoods of many of its communities.

In the hilly districts of Nepal equines are used for riding and for transporting goods by pack, while in the plain districts they transport people by cart. Equines are also used in brick kilns to carry heavy loads of bricks over long distances.

The main issues faced by equines in Nepal are wounds, lameness, colic, injuries, diseases and a lack of access to appropriate feed, water, shelter and vaccinations. The welfare status of the animals is poor in all areas, but is worst in the brick kilns of Kathmandu Valley.

Mules, Pokhara

Mules used for moving breezeblocks in the hills above Pokhara 

What are we doing?

In 2007, we started working in Nepal in partnership with the organisation Animal Health Training and Consultancy Service (AHTCS).

AHTCS is currently:

  • working with local animal health practitioners such as vets, farriers and saddle-makers to improve the availability, accessibility, acceptability, affordability and quality of their services
  • working with equine owners and users to improve their equine husbandry, disease prevention and handling practices
  • helping to improve working conditions and animal welfare facilities in brick kilns
  • raising the profile of equine welfare in government policy and legal frameworks.

Snapshot of our work

Horse owners group, Samal valley, Nepal

Horse owners group, Samal valley, Nepal 

Equine owner groups

AHTCS supports the formation of equine owner groups and teach members skills such as basic first aid, equine handling and equine care. Groups are also supported to develop savings and credit funds which provide loans for members to pay for equine related expenses. 

Working in brick kilns

Since 2012 AHTCS' work has included a focus on the horses, donkeys and mules used in the brick kilns of Kathmandu where they carry heavy loads of bricks over long distances.

AHTCS aims to improve the working conditions and animal welfare facilities in the kilns through working with brick kiln associations, brick kiln owners and with equine owners and handlers, as well as stakeholders such as Brick Clean Network and Animal Welfare Network Nepal. 

Working with Ashwapremis

Ashwapremis are members of the community who are particularly interested in equine welfare and who, with the help of AHTCS, act as a source of equine knowledge and support for other equine owners, encouraging them to adopt good equine welfare practices. 

Related news

Brooke hosted the first ever cross-sector regional brick kiln advocacy event.

Brooke UK's Al McLeod sees first-hand the effect Brooke’s formation of community groups has had on equine owners and their animals at a Nepal tea estate. 

Brooke partnerships

We operate in partnership with a variety of organisations to extend the range and impact of our work.