Deadly cyclone hits horse owners already struggling in Covid-19 pandemic

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A cyclone has battered the west of India, causing flooding and major damage to homes and brick kilns, where many locals earn their living.
A cyclone has battered the west of India, causing flooding and major damage to homes and brick kilns, where many locals earn their living. © Brooke

A district in India already battered by Covid-19 has sustained a second hit after a cyclone tore through the country’s west coast, killing 91 people and impacting more than 3600 horses, donkeys and mules.

Brooke India has stepped up its appeal to help communities after Cyclone Tauktae hit the area last week, killing at least 91 people and damaging thousands of houses and boats. It has caused flooding across Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The international working animal charity operates in Maharashtra and Gujarat, where families work together in brick kilns, often in low-quality housing. Life is tough already, but this has been greatly compounded by Covid-19. The cyclone knocked down many living quarters, destroyed animal shelters and flooded areas where owners had been trying to grow fodder for their animals using hydroponics. Food has been damaged, as well as stocks of dry fodder and feed that had been bought for feeding donkeys.

Brooke’s team have increased the subsidy given for balanced feed or fodder and first aid kits by 90% for equine owners in cyclone-hit zones and vet staff have been providing emergency treatment intervention. Money raised from the wider India Emergency Appeal will be used for those in greatest need at this time, which will include those affected by the cyclone.

As Covid-19 rages through India, Brooke is in the process of providing subsidised balanced feed or fodder to more than 1600 horses, donkeys and mules across a variety of projects, benefiting more than 1300 owners. Brooke is also distributing partly subsidised first aid kits, which will help some 1700 owners to care for their animals whilst going through financial difficulties.

» Donations can be made here to help Brooke continue to support communities and working horses, donkeys and mules impacted by India’s devastating Covid-19 crisis.

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