112 Million Neglected Workers

Mules for mail services

Millions of people around the world, especially in developing countries, rely on and earn their livelihood through working animals.

The Brooke animal  welfare organization

The Brook is a charity that works to improve the living conditions of working horses, donkeys and mules) According to Petra Ingram, the Chief Executive Officer of the Brooke, about 112 million horses, mules and donkeys still support the livelihood of about 600 million people around the world. They also provide training and programmes in animal health and care,  across  large areas: Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Because of the advancement in technology, it is easy for the world to forget about these animals that have been of tremendous help to mankind in the time past, and are still being helpful to millions of people across the globe.

They are called beasts of burden because they are owned principally to bear man’s burdens or to bear man himself and help him realize his income and social goals.

These animals do the toughest jobs to support man, in the harshest conditions. Notwithstanding, they can be cared for; they can be looked after the same way we maintain and polish our cars; they can be fed the same way we fuel our vehicles.

Instead, the focus seems to pivot only on animals that directly contribute to the production of food, or raw materials for the production of food, fabrics and what have you, such as goats, chickens, hog, cows, etc.

There are International Livestock Policies put in place to ensure that owners care adequately for animals that contribute to their livelihoods. But unfortunately, these policies and programs seem to be restricted to such animals as are used for food and raw materials.

We seem to forget or simply decide to block our senses to the fact that horses, donkeys and mules support to a great deal, the development of developing countries, and the existence and survival of their peoples

  • agriculture
  • mining
  • public transportation
  • tourism
  • construction
  • postal services
  • and many more industries

pack mule

Countries thrive on these functions, and households depend on the labor and income these animals provide.  They make life easier for man; man should make life easier for them too – that’s what the Brooke charity is clamoring for.

Not much attention is paid to the contribution of these working animals to the livelihoods of many of the poorest peoples of the world. Even their owners do not seem to understand their importance, or if they do, they do not appreciate it. This is why horses, donkeys and mules are put through very difficult situations that make them suffer a lot, while working for man.

The Brooke is of the strong opinion that while horses, donkeys and mules can continue to serve man and contribute to the growth of economies, it doesn’t have to be under severe conditions of no care, little or no food or water, wounds, diseases and incessant toiling.

Policy makers should see that International Livestock Policies extend to the 112 million, and the growing number, of these neglected workers. Their suffering is preventable and they can have access to good animal welfare.

well cared for working horses
Well cared for working horses

For more information on the Brooke charity and their work you can visit their website here