Midsomer Murders star John Nettle has been sharing his support for equine charity Brooke.

The actor, who plays DCI Barnaby in the ITV series, has voiced Brooke’s latest advert to help promote the work it does to improve the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in developing countries.

The advert, which is running on a number of different television channels, tells the story of Chittoo, one of thousands of donkeys working in the dark and claustrophobic environment of the Pakistan coal mines. The equines work in deep narrow tunnels, and are in extreme danger of injuries, malnutrition and dehydration.

For more information visit www.thebrooke.org/chittoo.

“I heard about Brooke a few years ago, and since then I’ve learnt about some of the brilliant and vital action they’re taking worldwide to help working horses, donkeys and mules — training vets, providing treatment and working to improve animal welfare policy,” said animal-lover John.

“I have always loved equines, and our home is a refuge for them. We have seven horses, all rescues, and two donkeys called Achilles and Hector.

“Maybe because of the spiritual significance, I think people expect donkeys to be stoic and solemn but they’re children really — funny, playful and above all curious. They are so beautiful and make getting up in the morning worthwhile.

“I was delighted to do this voiceover for Brooke and hope it helps to raise more awareness of the plight of working horses, donkeys and mules overseas.”

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115,000 of Pakistan’s 4.7m horses, donkeys and mules work in coal mines every day.

Brooke works with local vets and service providers to improve welfare problems such as lesions and exhaustion due to overloading, and dehydration.

The charity also provides training and support to equine owning communities.