Coal Mines

We're Helping Animals Who labor in Coal Mines, Brick Kilns, Rock quarries and Other Harsh Environments

8,500 horses, donkeys, and mules work in Pakistan's subterranean coal mines.  Their plight is the focus of a Brooke campaign to improve their lives.

Thousands of feet into the earth, the coal mines are without a doubt one of the most harrowing environments that we have ever encountered for working animals and the people who labor alongside them.

Long hours, heavy loads, no water despite the hot and dusty conditions – life is tough for both donkeys and people, so when the Brooke first heard about these coal mines, we had to do something to help.


In addition to working long hours hauling tons of rock and coal from mine shafts, in the dark, over rugged terrain, the animals are also subjected to something called nose slitting - a cruel and ineffective practice that is carried out due to the mistaken belief that slit nostrils help donkeys breathe better.


A Brooke mobile veterinary team treats wounds caused by overloading in the coal mines.

A Brooke mobile veterinary team treats wounds caused by overloading in the coal mines.

A team of Brooke veterinarians has been supplying emergency care to the coal mine donkeys; in fact:

We're the only group in the world trying to help these animals.

The donkeys suffer an assortment of issues, including lameness, untreated wounds from ill-fitting harnesses and overloaded packs, injuries from stumbling while carrying heavy loads, and respiratory difficulties caused by dust inhalation.


Thanks to the Brooke, this coal mine donkey gets to enjoy a refreshing drink before going back into the mine for another load.

Thanks to the Brooke, this coal mine donkey gets to enjoy a refreshing drink before going back into the mine for another load.

Already Making a Difference:

In the first mine where we have started our work, our mobile vet team is making daily visits, providing treatments to bring  immediate relief from suffering.

Thin donkeys are a big problem, so our vets are also holding education session for the owners to teach them what to feed their donkeys - the right feed for the right job - always remembering that any suggested feed must be locally available and affordable.

We have built water troughs, made shelters and taught local people skills in basic donkey care.



A Brooke vet treats a very painful but all-too-common wound on a coal mine donkey, caused by ill-fitting harness.

A Brooke vet treats a very painful but all-too-common wound on a coal mine donkey, caused by ill-fitting harness.

In the first six months of working in the mines, we gave almost 2,500 free veterinary treatments, installed 15 portable water troughs and held 96 training sessions for owners.

We distributed grooming kits, water buckets and fly fringes. Across the area we trained a government vet, four vet assistants and a local service provider in donkey first aid, to help on the days when the Brooke is working in a different location.

Some donkeys now have a fenced pen to return to at night, with a shelter and sandy area to roll.


Brooke veterinarians at the entrance of a coal mine in Pakistan, treating the wounded animals after they unload their heavy burdens of coal.

Brooke veterinarians at the entrance of a coal mine in Pakistan, treating the wounded animals after they unload their heavy burdens of coal.

Your gift could help treat working animals' wounds and ease their pain

Whether they're toiling in the dark and depths of coal mines and stone quarries, the high altitude of slate mines, or the scorching sun of brick kilns, life can be painful and short for exhausted animals. But just a little kindness can change their lives.

Your gift today could provide urgent veterinary care and other essentials to improve the quality of their lives. It could give these animals access to fresh water, nourishing food and a safe place to rest. It can teach their owners and handlers how to improve their animals' lives through better husbandry.


Best of all, your donations could bring about the changes that will save foals from the misery that their mothers and fathers have endured and bring lasting change to the coal mines, brick kilns, rock quarries, slate mines, and other harsh working environments.

Your monthly or one-time gift to Brooke USA will further our mission to fund the Brooke's life-saving programs across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. 

We know that you want your donations to reach the animals who are in greatest need, so donations are distributed as needed across all of the Brooke's programs, to help the most desperate working horses, donkeys and mules.

Watch a short video of Brooke CEO Petra Ingram from a coal mine in Pakistan.


After they have carried their loads of rock and coal out of the mines and into the light, the donkeys are unloaded, then head back into the mines for more loads during 10-hour work days. But the lives of the animals who work in the shafts of coal mines in Pakistan will begin to see an improvement now that Brooke veterinarians will be visiting them regularly.

After they have carried their loads of rock and coal out of the mines and into the light, the donkeys are unloaded, then head back into the mines for more loads during 10-hour work days. But the lives of the animals who work in the shafts of coal mines in Pakistan will begin to see an improvement now that Brooke veterinarians will be visiting them regularly.


The Brooke team in Pakistan is amazing.  They work tirelessly for these poor donkeys and yet they also manage to work respectfully with all of the people involved.

It is this trust and respect that will enable more long-term, positive changes, and more improvements in additional mines over the next few years. Yes, it is tough, but we cannot sit back and ignore what is happening. It is our job to make a better life for the donkeys, and help the people too.

In time, with such a strong foundation and your donations, we will make a substantial change in the welfare of all the donkeys working in coal mines across Pakistan, and benefit many thousands of people as well now and for generations to come.



A horse working in a brick kiln struggles to move his overloaded cart

A horse working in a brick kiln struggles to move his overloaded cart

 
Coal mines are miserable environments for the animals and people who work side-by-side to earn a meagre living.

Coal mines are miserable environments for the animals and people who work side-by-side to earn a meagre living.

Donkeys carrying stones from a quarry in Ethiopia

Donkeys carrying stones from a quarry in Ethiopia

 
Exhausted donkeys working in the blazing sun of a brick kiln.

Exhausted donkeys working in the blazing sun of a brick kiln.