Hot, dusty and dangerous: That’s life for thousands of horses

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• To view the above video in 360°, click play, then touch and drag from the viewing screen.

A “360 virtual reality” film showing the daily life of workers in brick kilns in Pakistan has been released online by working equine charity Brooke.

The film, which was captured in July 2018 with The Progress Film Company and Visualise, takes the viewer inside some of the most extreme working environments on earth, with uneven terrain and high temperatures. Waqas and Tayyba live and work on the site of the kiln with their baby, Sania Fatima, and their nine-year-old horse, Raju. They are one of 50 families employed to produce 45,000 to 50,000 bricks per day at this site. The film follows them as they work to fulfil their targets whilst trying not to overload their horse and keep him hydrated.

More than 500,000 animals work in the brick kiln industry.
More than 500,000 animals work in the brick kiln industry. © Brooke

It was first aired during the FEI World Equestrian Games in the US in 2018, but is now being made available publicly.

The brick kiln industry in South Asia is vast, with about 152,700 active kilns across the region. These kilns employ over 16 million people and 500,000 animals to make more than a fifth (21%) of the world’s bricks.

With thick dust, temperatures of up to 50°C (122°F), and very little shade, animals suffer from breathing problems, injuries and malnutrition. The families that own and rely on these animals are often in bonded labour and have little access to vets, farriers, or first aid.

Brooke, which is currently active in 8483 brick kilns, takes a One Health approach that recognises the links between human, animal and environmental health and how each has an impact on the others.

For example, in Pakistan, Brooke has been working with the government and the Brick Kiln Association to plant trees at kilns to address pollution and land degradation. These trees include fruit and shade species and will not only reduce carbon footprints, but also provide shade and shelter to the working animals and their owners.

Brooke has also teamed up with Youth Ambassador This Esme to shoot a 360 video for her channel, featuring her own cut of the film to share with her viewers.

“I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to take my viewers on a journey through a real-life brick kiln in Pakistan, via the wonders of 360 technology,” Esme said.

“The harsh conditions facing working animals in settings like this are unimaginable, especially when I compare their lives with those of my own animals. Having visited Brooke’s work in Senegal last year, I was able to see the amazing progress that’s being made in bringing about positive change for working animals and their owners and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

 

 

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