New by-laws in Halaba, Ethiopia have be introduced to allow abandoned working horses to be put down.
International welfare charity the Brooke has been working with the Ethiopian government to get the by-laws changed in the area.
The charity’s teams will now be able to euthanase abandoned working equines that are injured and beyond medical help.
The problem of abandonment of working horses in urban areas of Ethiopia is a growing problem, especially in Halaba.
Horses that are too sick or weak to work are left suffering on the streets before they die or are attacked and eaten by hyenas.
The horses are often beyond help and the only option to end their suffering is being put down.
In the region of Halaba, an owner has to give consent before an animal can be euthanased.
But when the horse has been abandoned, the owner is often very hard to track down.
The new by-law means that the Brooke can put an abandoned animal down without the legal risk of someone coming forward and claiming it was done without their consent.
“Euthanasia is always an emotional decision, both for our own staff and the local people we work with, but it is our duty to do what we can to provide comfort and relief to suffering animals who work so very hard for the people depending on them,” said the Brooke’s Melissa Liszewski.
“The success of the by-laws is just one example of how working at government level is helping the Brooke to support hard working animals,” she added.
Last year the Brooke helped over 1.5million working horses, donkeys and mules and it hopes to reach 2m working equines by 2016.
For more information visit www.thebrooke.org