Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Working Horses Around World Worked to Death and Abused Along the Way

Unfortunately, I assumed this to be true. It’s always baffled me how humans rely on these animals but then abuse them.


Working horses often mistreated, worked to death


September 25, 2006

A working horse fully laden and clearly exhausted.
Many of the world's millions of working equines in developing countries are in need of help and the World Society for the Protection of Animals believes the issue needs immediate attention.

Dr Elly Hiby, Companion Animals Director for WSPA, hopes to raise the profile of the issue with a speaking tour of nine US cities.

Situations in some developing countries are dire, as the very animals families depend on for survival are dying due to extreme working conditions and poor care. It is commonplace for working equines to carry massive amounts of bricks for new construction, heavy loads of food to market in addition to a rider, or pull a cart, rider and a tremendous amount of cargo over difficult terrain.

The weary equines often work 18 hour days in hot and difficult environmental conditions while experiencing a lack of proper care that leads to health problems including: parasites, disease, lameness, severe harness sores and heat stress. A scarcity of water and malnutrition further adds to the poor health of the equines. Basic care such as proper grooming, shoeing, vaccinations and routine worming are either unavailable or unknown to many equine owners. Equine owners have little place to turn for help.

"To change this situation requires a change in both the knowledge and behavior of owners and their ability to provide a better standard of care for their equines. This can be done through both teaching and demonstrating good husbandry and providing resources such as affordable and accessible veterinary services and community health workers trained in equine health," says Dr Hiby.

Dr Hiby will discuss this desperate situation and WSPA's mission, working with 700 Member Societies in 140 countries, to educate and offer services to equine owners, radically improving the conditions of the animals and the families who depend on them to survive.

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