Working Equine Outreach

Background of the Program :

Equine outreach programme is a holistic approach to reach out to working equines (specifically donkeys and mules) and several key stakeholders such as kiln owners, middle man (Naike), equine owners, equine handlers, local vet practitioner and related government agencies. The programme aims to improve the working and living condition of working equines by educating and empowering key stakeholders, as well as regulating the condition of working equines. One of the major activity within the programme is community education of equine owners, handlers and kiln owners. The programme provides them with much needed trainings and awareness to empower the community and to insure realization of their responsibility towards working equines. Government line agencies also play a huge role in the welfare conditions of working equines; they have the authority to draft and adopt relevant regulations, guidelines and policies. It is part of our advocacy programme to lobby with these specific stakeholders for the betterment of the welfare conditions of working equines and in 2016 AN was part of the Committee that was formed to draft a law for the welfare of equines and other pack animals. In 2017, we were able to lobby with the Government to pass the landmark Animal Welfare Directive; the first law in the world specifically drafted for the welfare of traction and pack animals. We hope to set an example by supporting the Government to ensure implementation of this law in the coming years and have signed an MOU with the relevant Ministry to guarantee that AN will be leading partner in the implementation process.
Location – Laltipur, Dhading, Gorkha and Nepalgunj.
Time Frame January – September 2018

Shocked to see the conditions of thousands of donkeys, mules and horses working in the brick factories of Kathmandu Valley, Animal Nepal (AN) launched a Working Equine Outreach Programme in 2009. Since then, with the support of The Donkey Sanctuary UK, AN has been working in over 15 brick factories in Lalitpur (seasonal industry running for 6 months every year), where it organizes regular health camps and educates the equine owners, handlers and factory owners on equine welfare. The condition of the 500 or so working equines in the 15 brick factories in Lalitpur has improved considerably with 55% decrease in wounds over a 5 year working period (Annual Report 2015-2016). Animal Nepal was the first animal welfare organization to work in the brick kilns of Nepal and our work continues to expand. In 2012, the outreach programme was extended to Nepalgunj- Nepal’s main equine bazaar, to address the root causes of the abuse and make a lasting change in the lives of Nepal’s working equines and their owners. In 2016, AN expanded its Outreach programme to Dhading, Kavre and Gorkha districts of Nepal. In the same year AN decided to focus more on advocacy and since has worked closely with the Ministry of Livestock Development.
In addition to the equine welfare education workshops, AN also provides skill based training for the equine owners and their families to enhance their economic situation. This undertaking was carried out while extending AN’s outreach programme to Nepalgunj- Nepal’s main equine bazaar (as well as home for most equine owners coming to Lalitpur). Animal Nepal was the first animal welfare organization to work in the brick-kilns of Nepal and our work continues to expand.

Objective of our Working Equines Outreach Programme:
1. To mitigate the spread of communicable diseases among working equines through interactions with relevant stakeholders.
2. To improve the working conditions of mules and donkeys in our working areas through:
i) education programs for equine owners and handlers on equine welfare and management based on HAND;
ii) hoof care and management trainings;
iii) wounds management and harness development trainings; and
iv) trainings to enhance the socio-economic situations of the equine user groups.
3. To provide need based treatment for approximately 2500 mules and donkeys.

4. To raise awareness on animal welfare, the use of working equines and their conditions through media outreach.
5. To indirectly expand our reach to improve the lives of many more equines by supporting the Government to develop relevant educational materials and by organizing trainings for government vet practitioners and veterinary students on equine welfare and management.
6. To provide technical and financial support for the construction of a permanent shelter and ramp in our working areas.

Our Target for 2018 :
1. To reach out to 2500 working equines directly.
2. To educate 70 equine owners and 300 handlers about equine management.

• Organize a microcredit workshop in Nepalgunj for equine user group.
• Conduct 4 training sessions on wound prevention and management.
• Conduct 4 trainings for equine owners to train them to produce improved harnesses.
• Provide sample harness materials for 10 equine owners.
• Conduct 6 educational sessions on communicable disease of donkeys and mules.
• Conduct 8 equine handling and skill development workshop for equine handlers.
• Conduct 2 interaction programmes for equine handlers.
• Award best equine handlers and equine owners.
• Provide partial support to build 2 permanent shelters.
• Make a ramp which can be used by equine owners to load their animals into a truck while going back to Nepalgunj.
• Conduct 6 hoof management trainings.
• Provide one set of farrier tools to trained mule owner.
• Provide need based medical support in Lalitpur, Dhading, Gorkha and Nepalgunj. The support will be taken as an opportunity to train people.
• Provide first aid kits to trained equine owners in Dhading.
• Castration of mules. This is to show humane method of castration to the local people.
• Facilitate to construct an isolation unit in Gorkha.

To learn more about our Working Equine Outreach Programme, click on the links below:

A. Health Clinics

B. Community Education and Trainings

C. Godavari Donkey Sanctuary