Equine charity The Brooke has been given an animal welfare award for its work helping hundreds of horses, donkeys and mules after the Nepal earthquake.
A year after the country was hit by its biggest quake in 80 years, CEVA Animal Health UK has presented a special recognition award to the Brooke team in Nepal, the Animal Health Training Consultancy Service (AHTCS).
In the aftermath of the 25 April 2015 disaster, which killed more than 8,000 people, the AHTCS “jumped into action” to rescue affected equines.
During the first few days, the team worked with local people and the Equine Association to clear roads and save horses, donkeys and mules who had been trapped in the hills by landslides.
More than 1,500 in Gorkha were trapped with little or no grass or injured while working carrying bricks for their owners.
The work continued, with more than 400 animals rescued and 1,483 equines, and more than 300 owners and handlers, provided with food and water.
The team also ran a five-day free health camp, checking 575 animals including equines.
It is only the second time in the CEVA awards’ five-year history that the special recognition has been awarded, but the judges “decided the team should be recognised for their work”.
AHTCS’ executive director Dr Bidur Pakhrin, said: “After the earthquake we heard that people and their animals in the districts where we were working were very badly affected, so we gathered a team together to work out what we could do.
“We are honoured to receive this award. We didn’t expect to be recognised in this way, so we’re very thankful to CEVA.
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“Services available for the animals are minimal, so this provides a lot of our motivation. The economic benefits these animals bring to people are not properly recognised nationally, so there is more work to be done for us here in Nepal.
“We are striving for a good welfare status for the working equines. It’s an opportunity and a challenge.”
For more information visit The Brooke’s website.