Pakistan

Pakistan has an estimated 4.75 million equines. Starting from a single mobile clinic in Peshawar, we have been working in country since 1991.

Pakistan at a glance

Pakistan flag

Population: 188.9 million
Percentage of people living below the international poverty line: 6.1%
Number of working horses, donkeys and mules: 4.75 million
 

Sources: World Bank 2015, World Bank 2013, Government of Pakistan Livestock Census 2006

Background

While poverty in Pakistan has declined dramatically in recent years, nearly a quarter of the population still live on less than a dollar a day.

There are over 4.7 million horses, donkeys and mules in country and these animals are involved in a variety of work from transporting people and goods, to working in agriculture, brick kilns and coal mines.

Some of the main welfare issues they face include lameness, poor body condition, wounds, eye diseases and abnormal hoof shapes.

The country’s brick kilns and coal mines are particularly extreme working environments and home to some of the country’s most vulnerable working animals and people.

Four donkeys during a break at a brick kiln in Gujarnwala, Pakistan. Credit/Copyright - Richard Dunwoody MBE

Four donkeys during a break at a brick kiln in Gujarnwala, Pakistan. Credit/Copyright - Richard Dunwoody MBE

What are we doing?

Our goal is to improve the welfare of 98,000 working equines in Pakistan by 2021 through:

  • working with brick kiln owners, equine owners and users and local animal health practitioners to improve the welfare of equines in brick kilns
  • working with coal mine owners, equine owners and users, and local animal health practitioners to improve the welfare of equines in coal mines
  • working with equine-using communities so they adopt welfare friendly practices
  • influencing national and provincial governments and other institutes to incorporate equine welfare into their policies.

Snapshot of our work

Donkeys entering a coal mine in Pakistan

Donkeys entering a coal mine in Pakistan.

Coal mines

Coal mines are extremely tough environments for both donkeys and their owners. Our work in the mines is especially difficult because conditions for the miners themselves are very poor. Some of our work in this area includes building trust within the mining communities through the provision of basic infrastructure, such as shelters and water troughs, as well as providing first aid.

Once this trust has been built, we organise community meetings to teach basic management practices (such as grooming and hoof cleaning, wound management, feeding and water awareness) and recruit welfare champions who promote good practice more widely.

We also identify, train veterinary and other local service providers (farriers, saddlers and feed sellers), and ensure the miners have access to affordable and good quality services.

Brick Kilns

Conditions for people and animals are exceptionally harsh in Pakistan’s brick kilns.

As well as providing guidance and assistance to local vets in treating serious injuries and cases in brick kilns, Brooke works with equine owners and users to improve their husbandry practices and awareness of animal welfare. We also work with children in brick kiln communities so they develop awareness of equine welfare and animal compassion. 

​Brooke is sincerely grateful to The Alborada Trust for their significant support of our work to transform the lives of working equines in Pakistan’s brick kilns.

Advocacy work

Brooke Pakistan aims to influence civil society, government and non-government organisations, raising a voice for equine welfare and lobbying for their inclusion in policy. Examples include:

  • disseminating evidence, such as the Voices from Women report on the links between working equines and human development
  • working directly with government livestock departments to ensure the inclusion of equines in their livestock welfare programmes and initiatives
  • adding topics on equine diseases and management to veterinary training curriculums. 

Working with communities

Brooke runs interactive sessions with equine owners and users to address issues affecting their animals’ welfare. 

Educating groups of owners ensures our messages reach bigger audiences though 'cascading' - passing the information on to others. Innovative methods include working with women’s groups to empower them to take the lead role in caring for their animals, and using competitions and peer pressure to make communities aware of good animal welfare practice, not only for their own equines, but also for those in neighbouring villages. 

Related news

Combining education with entertainment can have a long-lasting effect.

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

Brooke vets in Pakistan and the University of Bristol published paper about recognising when a donkey is in pain. 

Brooke partnerships

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

With your help we can reach even more working horses, donkeys and mules in Pakistan