THE UK’s largest overseas equine charity, the Brooke Hospital for Animals, is embroiled in a legal battle over help for horses in Afghanistan.

The Brooke provided hundreds of thousands of pounds to help improve the lives of horses in the war-torn country, but is now being sued by its former partner, the Committee for Rehabilitation Aid to Afghanistan (CRAA).

In 2003, the Brooke and the World Society for the Protection of Animals agreed to fund the CRAA’s reconstruction of Afghanistan as part of a five-year project to improve equine welfare.

According to a High Court writ, the Brooke stopped paying money to the CRAA in October 2007 over allegations money might have been used for the wrong purposes and claims of dishonesty.

They decided to work with Afghanaid and the Dutch Committee for Afghanistan in Kabul instead.

A spokesman for the Brooke told H&H: “Following a visit to Afghanistan by our head of field operations for Asia, concerns were identified with CRAA, and the Brooke terminated this partnership”.

The CRAA disputed the allegations and continued to work on the project until December 2007, the writ says.

The CRAA is suing the Brooke for wrongful breach of agreement and failure to fund the last six months of the project — £101,788, plus interest of £8,831.

The Brooke spokesman added: “As this is a legal matter we are unable to provide more information at this time.”

The Brooke helps working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the poorest parts of the world. Between 2003 and 2007, the Brooke estimates that 130,000 Afghan equines received drinking water and veterinary and farriery care.

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