Attempts to help donkeys hit hard by devastating Indian cyclone

  • An equine charity has ramped up aid efforts to help the owners of working donkeys hit by a devastating cyclone that struck India’s west coast last week (17-21 May).

    Poor families already struggling from the impact of Covid-19 have been left without fodder or shelter for their animals, many of whom work in the brick kilns of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

    Cyclone Tauktae killed at least 91 people, damaged thousands of houses and boats and caused flooding across the area, which also includes Kerala, Karnataka and Goa.

    Charity Brooke said that around 600 owners of more than 3,600 horses, donkeys and mules had been affected.

    A spokesman added that life was already tough for many in these communities but now living quarters and animal shelters have been destroyed and areas where fodder was being grown using hyrdroponics have been flooded.

    Dry stocks of fodder and feed for the working donkeys have also been damaged.

    Brooke said that its team had increased the subsidies given to owners for balanced feed, fodder and first aid kits by 90%. Vet staff have also been providing emergency treatment.

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    “As Covid-19 rages through India, Brooke is in the process of providing subsidised balanced feed or fodder to over 1,600 horses, donkeys and mules across a variety of projects, benefiting over 1,300 owners,” a spokesman for the charity said.

    “Brooke is also distributing partly subsidised first aid kits, which will help over 1,700 owners to care for their animals whilst going through financial difficulties.”

    Brooke is an international charity which works in more than 11 countries to protect and improve the lives of working equids, helping to support people in the developing world to work their way out of poverty.

    Donations help Brooke continue to support communities and working horses, donkeys and mules impacted by India’s devastating Covid-19 crisis can be made online.

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