There is a lot going on all around the planet in regard to equine welfare. In many countries people are struggling to survive, and this greatly impacts the welfare of their working animals. Fortunately there are some great charities working hard to improve the lives of both the humans and their working animals by offering education, feed and veterinary care.
Here is a small snapshot of the organisations helping out horses, donkeys, and other equines overseas. We should warn you that on some pages listed here there may be disturbing images of animal suffering.
If you are travelling, please read our page “Responsible Tourism for Working Equines“.
International Equine Welfare Organisations Based in Australia:
- Animal Aid Abroad are based in Western Australia. They help many animals, including working equines in Nepal and Egypt. From their website ~ “AAA is a registered non-profit charity that was set up by Janet Thomas after working and living in Alexandria, Egypt. She witnessed on a daily basis the appalling and cruel treatment of the animals on the streets and in the local zoo. She became aware that no animal welfare facility was set up in Alexandria [Egypt’s second largest city with a population of over 4 million people] so she returned to Australia to raise the money to start a facility that will help the animals in Alexandria.” You can support them on their Facebook page at this link.
- WSPA Australia are part of the international network of animal welfare organisations known as the World Society for the Protection of Animals. They work as part of this network to provide help for all sorts of animals, including working horses, donkeys and mules in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. You can read their main page on “Working horses”. Other stories include: donkeys in Israel, working horses in Columbia, disaster relief in Haiti, and Freddie the mule in Israel.
International Equine Welfare Organisations Based in Europe:
- The Brooke started in Egypt in the 1930s and they are still continuing to grow and expand their impact. Visit their website here, and like their Facebook page here to see the work being done to help working equines and their owners in countries such as Egypt, Kenya, India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Jordan, Senegal and Afghanistan.
- SPANA “For the working animals of the world” started in North Africa in 1923. Their initial work was in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, but they have since expanded to also include Ethiopia, Jordan, Mali, Mauritania and Syria. They provide free veterinary care, education & training and respond to emergency situations. Read more about them on their website here, and like their Facebook page here.
- World Horse Welfare are one of the biggest horse charities in the world. Based in Britain, they employ 150 staff and care for 2,000 horses in Britain. Internationally they work in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Romania, South Africa, Lesotho and Senegal. Their international efforts involve training local people so they gain “skills and knowledge in farriery, saddlery, nutrition and business skills”. To learn more about their international programs, click here to visit the international pages of their website. For information on their work in Britain visit their main site here, and for some reason they have two Facebook pages that you can “like” – World Horse Welfare and horsecharity.
- The Donkey Sanctuary are based in Britain and started in the 1970s. In the UK and Ireland more than 14,500 donkeys have passed through their care. In mainland Europe they have rescued over 800 donkeys in Cyprus, Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Portugal and Romania. Internationally they work in India, Kenya, Mexico, Egypt and Ethiopia. They have also provided grants to other welfare organisations for work in Cameroon, China, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. Read more about their international work on this page on their website, their work in Europe here, and their work in the UK and Northern Ireland here.
- World Organisation for Animal Health -OIE – Intergovernemental organisation in charge of improving animal health and welfare worldwide Website and Facebook page
International Equine Welfare Organisations based in Africa:
- The Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA) “are committed to improving animal welfare in Egypt in all areas of need, including: dogs and cats; donkeys and horses; animals in the Cairo zoo; and pet shops.” Read more on their website here, and like their Facebook page here.
- The Egyptian Society of Animal Friends (ESAF) also work to support and educate equine owners in the improved welfare of their animals. You can see their website here, their Facebook page here, and read a very thorough article on the great work they are doing on the Quest Equine Welfare website.
- Highveld Horse Care Unit (HHCU) are located in South Africa, and according to their website are “the largest equine welfare organisation in the Southern hemisphere.” Their inspectors see thousands of horses a year, and they are also involved in rehoming former racehorses, among other things.
- Coastal Horse Care Unit (CHCU) are also located in South Africa. They are “committed to the welfare of all horses and donkeys from all disciplines of equine involvement.”
Japan – Earthquake and Tsunami aftermath 2011
- The devastating events in Japan have left many horses in a desperate situation. One organisation that has rescued horses from around Fukushima is The Retired Horse Association, “HISAIBA-INFO”. You can visit their website here and Facebook page here.
- The Retired Horse Association are being supported by ARK (Animal Refuge Kansai), you can read more about it in the article “Japan’s Fukushima Update Summer 2011” (August) on the Anipal Times website.
- Article from June 2011 on The Chronicle of the Horse website ~ “Japanese Horses Struggling in Wake of disaster”
Clearly there is a LOT more going on than we’ve listed here so far. We will be adding more as time allows, and welcome suggestions emailed to editor(at)australianhorserescue.com
An extensive directory of different organisations is available at http://worldanimal.net/ (unfortunately some of the links are no longer current)
More amazing images of working equines overseas:
Some images and stories that illustrate how very different life can be for equines in different countries around the world.
The US Army intercepts timber smugglers on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Donkeys are the only way to get such a cargo over the rough terrain. Read the full story here.