Life-changing help for working horses as OIE gets behind welfare workshops

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Brooke CEO Petra Ingram, left, with Dr Monique Eloit. and World Horse Welfare CEO Roly Owers with the Letter of Intent from the ICWE at the World Organisation for Animal Health's General Session in Paris.
Brooke CEO Petra Ingram, left, with Dr Monique Eloit and World Horse Welfare CEO Roly Owers with the Letter of Intent from the ICWE at the World Organisation for Animal Health’s General Session in Paris.

A joint venture by several international charities will benefit working equines around the world with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) agreeing to run regional workshops on animal welfare.

The International Coalition for Working Equids (ICWE) will fund a day dedicated to equine welfare as part of these workshops, which will include sessions in Brazil in the Americas region and in Lesotho in the African region.

Chaired by international working equine charity Brooke, the ICWE signed a Letter of Intent with the OIE to provide major support to the implementation of OIE standards that benefit working horses, donkeys and mules. The letter was delivered by Brooke CEO Petra Ingram to the OIE’s 86th General Session  in Paris late last month.

The coalition is made up of 17 member-organisations including Brooke, The Donkey Sanctuary, Society For Protection Of Animals Abroad (SPANA) and World Horse Welfare, and exists to promote and help implement the welfare standards.

“What we’ve achieved collectively this week demonstrates the value of partnering with global institutions like OIE, who have the reach and access that can truly change the lives of these critical and largely invisible working horses, donkeys and mules,” Ingram said.

Representatives from the International Coalition for Working Equids (ICWE) at the OIE session in Paris.
Representatives from the International Coalition for Working Equids (ICWE) at the OIE session in Paris.

“We can achieve more than the sum of our parts by working together to fund these activities. We have also set in place a new way of working with the OIE that could be replicated by others in the future.

“This is another big step towards getting these animals the recognition they deserve as one of the most over-burdened workforces powering the developing world,” Ingram said.

The ICWE is also supporting the creation of a series of educational videos using clips taken directly from their field work, to be used by Chief Veterinary Officers and OIE Animal Welfare Representatives, helping them to carry out the ‘Welfare of Working Equid’ standards. The Coalition will also facilitate translation of the standards into Arabic.

The OIE International Standards provide 182 countries with a set of guidelines on various aspects of animals’ lives, to improve welfare, and how they’re implemented was a key topic of discussion at the OIE General Session. Brooke previously supported the OIE to create codes specifically for working horses, donkeys and mules, the ‘Welfare of Working Equids’ standards.

Dr Rab Navaz takes a look at a working donkey in Pakistan. 
Dr Rab Navaz takes a look at a working donkey in Pakistan. © Brooke

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