Working animal charity Spana is tackling deadly equine diseases in its efforts to vaccinate working animals in developing countries.
On the hit list is African Horse Sickness (AHS), Tetanus, and Epizootic Lymphangitis (EZL).
Spana – the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad – provides free veterinary treatment to horses, donkeys and other working animals in developing countries around the world. Thousands of animals die needlessly every year due to the lack of access to simple vaccinations and veterinary treatment for these diseases.
This latest appeal to to raise the funds needed to vaccinate against, and treat, life-threatening diseases, including:
African Horse Sickness – African Horse Sickness (AHS) is a highly infectious and deadly disease, spread by insect bites, affecting equines in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa. The acute form of the disease is fatal in around 90 per cent of cases.
Tetanus – Working animals are particularly vulnerable to cuts and scratches in their working environments, which means that the risk of getting tetanus – a bacterial disease that enters the body through wounds – is high. Although the disease is usually fatal for infected animals, it is preventable through vaccination with just two injections.
EZL – Epizootic Lymphangitis (EZL) is an agonisingly painful and contagious fungal disease affecting up to 30 per cent of Ethiopia’s cart horse population. Early treatment is crucial to the survival of a horse with EZL. Spana vets treated nearly 800 cases of EZL last year.
Spana chief executive Jeremy Hulme said the charity’s vets were saving the lives of countless animals, such as the donkeys working on Mali’s rubbish dumps, by vaccinating them and treating their wounds.
“In many developing countries, animals are suffering and dying needlessly due to the lack of vaccinations and veterinary treatment for diseases that are entirely preventable. However, our work is only possible thanks to the generous donations we receive. We urge people to support this urgent appeal to help us vaccinate and save many more animals. With so many of the diseases threatening working animals, a simple injection really can be the difference between life and death,” he said.
“Working animals are vital to many of the world’s poorest people. Their owners often rely completely on these animals – which do the jobs of tractors, trucks and taxis – for their livelihoods, and sometimes survival. By supporting our appeal, you will be helping to protect these animals and the families that depend on them.”
A £9 donation will vaccinate three donkeys against tetanus, while £20 will enable the treatment of a horse with EZL, and £45 will allow SPANA vets to treat an animal with African Horse Sickness.