A new pilot project to help horses working in a garbage dump and recycling centre in Mexico is in the sights of Brooke USA, the American fundraising arm of the Brooke equine charity.
The horses working at the dump in San Martin, Puebla State, are some of the most vulnerable of the 12.8 million working equine animals in Mexico.
The Brooke team is still studying the area to find out what the main welfare problems are, but from early observations the animals are suffering from bit and harness lesions, poor hoof condition and bad body condition. The project will primarily focus on improving the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the horse owners and the animal health providers who work at the site, so they can create a long-lasting environment of good welfare.
Horses, donkeys and mules in Mexico are used for agriculture, construction, mining, tourism and transportation, and they are supporting the lives of people by helping them to earn a living. But despite this, there is little support for people to effectively care for their animals. In this important pilot project, which could ultimately affect thousands of working equines across Mexico, the Brooke is partnering with a local organization, Fundación Dejando Huella. They will begin by helping around 200 horses working at the main garbage dump and recycling site in the city of San Martin Texmelucan de Labastida.
“We’re so pleased to be expanding into Mexico during 2016,” Brooke Chief Executive Petra Ingram said. “We did a lot of research to learn where our work would benefit the most working equines, and this could be the start of a bigger project. There are millions more horses, donkeys and mules in Mexico so I’m excited to see where this takes us.”
The Brooke is currently serving working equines in 11 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central America. Last year alone, the Brooke reached 1.8 million working equines, benefiting 10 million of the world’s poorest people who depend on the animals for their livelihoods.
Brooke USA, a 501(c)(3), headquartered at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, exists to support the Brooke’s overseas projects.