The plight of working horses in Egypt continues, four months after political unrest caused tourism there to grind to a standstill.

And charities are appealing to the British public for help.

In February H&H reported that 2,000 Egyptian equines were suffering after the uprisings left owners unable to earn a living to feed their animals (news, 24 February).

Susie Nassar from the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA) said: “We have been feeding the malnourished horses since 13 February, when the crisis started.”

She said there had been a gradual decrease of the “really emaciated horses” in the past couple of months. But there were “at least 300 starving horses” that still needed help.

Around 3,500 bags of food were given out by ESMA during April and May, but feed is still needed and donations are decreasing.

Medical treatment — including de-worming and first aid — has been administered thanks to ESMA.

The charity also aims to teach the community to feed horses and how to be compassionate.

“There are still around 50 horses that need de-worming and we would like to buy padded saddle cloths for those who have no respite from heavy leather saddles on their saddle sores,” said Ms Nassar.

The Brooke equine welfare charity, working with The Donkey Sanctuary and the Egyptian Society for Animal Friends, has also been involved.

The Brooke’s Karen Reed said: “We launched an emergency response programme for equines in Cairo, Edfu, Aswan and Luxor after the crisis. This ran until late April and more than 90,000kg of feed was distributed and more than 28,000 veterinary treatments were given.”

She added: “Some animals remain in a poor state of health, particularly in the area of the Pyramids, and a mobile veterinary team visits the area twice weekly. We are also running a special six-month education programme to train owners in better equine care.”

Visit: www.thebrooke.org and www.esmaegypt.org

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (7 July, 2011)