Good welfare, healthy horses, happy owners

Brick kiln owner Rana Rashide became an advocate for animal welfare.

Rana Rashide’s family has always owned brick kilns, and currently Rana and his cousin co-own two in the Phool Nagar district. They employ a total of 150 workers, 30 of which use equines.

Since Brooke started work here in 2015, Rana has noticed definite improvements: “I have seen two major benefits since Brooke has been working in my brick kilns. The animals are in much better condition and the owners are happier because their animals are healthier and happier.

“There are fewer health issues…The owners I employ are happier. A happy owner and a healthy animal means they can produce more bricks for the kiln and I can earn more money to pay my workers, so it’s a cycle.”

Every week around 12 workers attend community engagement sessions held at the brick kiln to learn basic welfare management such as the importance of green fodder to prevent colic, regular water provision, gentle handling and wound prevention. The sessions teach owners that animals respond best to gentle handling, and that whipping and beating is not necessary. As a result Rana has noticed the animals have fewer wounds.

Keen to encourage his workers to attend these sessions, Rana paid for a garden with lots of shade to be built where they could be held.

Rana Rashide in the new garden

“At first we didn’t have a proper place to sit and hold the meetings and awareness sessions so we specifically made this garden… so the owners can come and sit and rest and relax in the shade and consume the knowledge that is shared by the Brooke.”

Right: Rana Rashide in the new garden

Rana also paid for a water trough to be installed. “Before, people would have to travel to the dirty pond just outside of the brick kiln to fetch water, now there is a trough and a pump that provides fresh water. I try to persuade the owners to let their animals drink when they need rest”.

Brooke taught me the importance of good animal welfare. A healthier animal can work easily and if the animal is weak he will injure himself because he is not strong enough to work. I also believe that if an animal gets sick he will curse us because we are making him work. I know now that animals feel pain and if we force him to work and beat him he will be unhappy. So now I am an advocate of animal welfare, I love seeing healthy animals and never want to see a weak one.

Rana Rashide