What We Do
We help owners implement sustainable, culturally relevant
solutions to enormous animal welfare challenges
Brooke USA is determined to do whatever it takes to ensure that the right elements are in place for working horses, donkeys and mules to be healthy and happy now and in the long-term.
Brooke USA exists to support the overseas work of the Brooke around the globe to improve the welfare of these important animals.
Through a world-wide staff of approximately 1,000 (primarily nationals), the Brooke currently operates in 11 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The Brooke also funds small initiatives for other charities which are assisting working equine animals in Peru, Mongolia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, The Gambia, Fiji and Colombia.
We have a long and highly successful track record of effective programs, presenting solutions that even the poorest owners can utilize to benefit their animals and themselves.
We help solve global challenges by implementing practical solutions
These animals have a great work ethic, but they toil in some of the toughest environments on earth.
Because horses, donkeys and mules labor so quietly, steadily, and efficiently, they are almost invisible to the rest of the world. So are their contributions and their suffering.
They carry food, water, families, tourists, building materials, crops, merchandise, medicine and many other goods over unforgiving terrain, in unrelenting heat and bitter cold, through filth, beatings, and hordes of flies, with inadequate food, water, rest, or veterinary care, just to earn a meager daily income for their owners. Consequently the welfare of these busy animals and their ability (or inability) to work directly impacts the lives of the owners and their families.
The animals travail on rocky roads, in coal mines, in fields and on farms, in stone quarries and brick kilns, on mountaintops, in jungles and deserts, in factories and on busy city streets and dirt paths. Any work that is done by motorized vehicles in prosperous nations is carried out by these animals in poorer nations.
Unlike equine animals in industrialized nations, who generally enjoy reasonably high status as pets and in sport, working animals often have very low status even among the nations that depend on them for economic stability.
Through Our Global Programs...
We serve Equines
We provide free veterinary care through static and mobile veterinary clinics in bustling cities and remote villages.
The Brooke is often the only thing standing between an animal and misery, and between an owner and financial devastation.
By providing free veterinary care and teaching owners how to prevent and treat injuries and illnesses, the Brooke is able to reduce the suffering of the animals while ensuring that owners can continue using their them to earn a living.
Our mobile veterinary teams travel thousands of miles each year, often 365 days a year, to reach animals in need. Our animal health teams’ first priority is immediate treatment and relief of pain for any animal who is sick, injured, or distressed. But crucially, this is supported with an extensive program of training for many thousands of owners and other people who are involved in animals’ care.
We Serve owners
We teach sustainable equine welfare practices that reduce their animals’ suffering and prevent economic hardships that arise when their animals are unable to work.
We teach wound prevention and management, stable management, proper handling techniques, the importance of vaccinations, how to properly fit harnesses and saddles, and the necessity of providing basics such as appropriate food, clean water, shade, rest breaks, and shelter. We work to end harmful practices such as beatings and traditional “healing” methods like mutilation and firing.
We Serve Women
An estimated two thirds of poor livestock keepers – approximately 400 million people – are women.
Ownership of a working equine animal effectively gives women a voice and influence in decision making within their communities. Working donkeys, horses and mules also provide crucial physical support for these women. The animals carry out much of the back-breaking work that would otherwise ride on the backs of women, such as fetching water over long distances, hauling firewood, carrying goods to market, transporting supplies, and earning extra income that allows poor women to send their children to school.
If these animals become sick or die the impact can be devastating on women and their families. Household income drops, the burden on women increases, and they have less time to care for their children.
In communities where women are the primary caregivers, the Brooke is helping women to become agents of change, improving the lives of working animals - and consequently their own lives - in their communities.
We Serve Children
The Brooke puts education high on the list of its priorities, teaching owners to properly care for their working equines is of the utmost importance. Occasionally, convincing owners of the importance of the health and happiness of their animal can be a challenge.
This is far from the case when it comes to the children, who generally take their animal welfare very seriously, and they make sure they have a lot of fun while they do it!
The Brooke has developed classroom materials and many after-school programs for children, using fun ways to teach them how to keep their families' working equines happy, healthy, and unafraid of people. The children then eagerly share the idea of good equine welfare with their family and friends as if their lives depended on it – which of course they do.
Since many children are only able to attend school from the extra money earned by their families' animals, keeping those animals healthy also makes it possible to receive an education.
By teaching children, we ensure that current and future generations will not only know how to properly care for their animals, but will also respect and appreciate them.
We Serve communities
Our approach consists of developing practical, field-based training that is culturally relevant to local needs and resources, with sustainable, innovative methods.
By cultivating relationships on a community level, we can affect the future for all animals in those communities.
We work closely with local leaders as well as service providers such as harness makers, farriers, veterinarians, feed suppliers, other health workers, and non-governmental organizations to make lasting improvements to the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules for generations to come.
We encourage animal owners to create welfare groups and co-ops to pool their knowledge and resources.
We Serve governments
By creating strategic partnerships on a global level, we are able to influence entire countries toward greater awareness of their animals’ vital roles and inherent value.
To that end, we work with government leaders and international institutions, encouraging them to consider working animals in their policy making.
Invisible Workers Initiative
There are currently 112 million working horses, donkey and mules in the developing world today. These equines support more than 600 million people. We are working with the leaders of several key countries to influence legislation that will encourage the health and happiness of working equines, benefitting the people who depend on them.
Read the Report .
In keeping with our strategic objectives, the Brooke
underpins its work with scientific evidence
Undertaking and funding research projects is an integral part of our work and is used to ensure that improvements to the welfare of working animals is based on the best available qualitative and quantitative evidence. Research findings are used to increase the effectiveness of Brooke programs, informing policy and enabling resources to be allocated appropriately and efficiently.
The Brooke aims to ensure that all Brooke funded or supported research follow these objectives:
- To tackle issues relevant to working equine welfare identified principally by working with animals and their owners and communities.
- All research is carried out with responsibility to the animals and people involved.
- All research aims to produce results that are practically applicable to the Brooke’s work.
- Research is efficient, ensuring no duplication of effort or resources.
The Brooke uses a range of methods and approaches to answer field-based questions concerning animal welfare. In particular we encourage participatory methodologies with the equine-owning communities.
By involving owners in carrying out research, we incorporate existing knowledge into research projects which will lead to research findings being easier to implement by the people using them.
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