Brooke, Action for working Horses and Donkeys, has met its ambitious goal of reaching two million working horses, donkeys and mules in a single year, more than any other organisation.
The charity set out to reach this vast number of working horses and donkeys to relieve their suffering and improve welfare through training, research and treatment. Its annual reach has grown by over one million animals since 2011.
Measuring the impact of its work is a key focus for Brooke. In 2016, the number of animals with eye problems fell by 42% in Nepalese brick kilns.
In Brooke projects in Nicaragua, the number of severely underweight animals was reduced by 31% and Brooke Pakistan reduced the number of animals in their coal mine projects with severe wounds by 16%.
In the UK, Brooke now has 30 community fundraising groups and almost 10,000 new supporters have jumped on board this year alone.
Chief executive Petra Ingram said “Reaching two million horses, donkeys and mules in a year is one of our proudest achievements. We’re so grateful to our donors for enabling us to offer support to so many animals. This success paves the way for the future of Brooke.
"By 2021 we want to reach even more working horses, donkeys and mules in the greatest need. And we want to ensure that Brooke makes a lasting difference to animals’ lives – so they continue to benefit for generations to come.”
In a huge milestone for Brooke’s global animal welfare and advocacy work, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) announced this year the first set of welfare standards for working horses, donkey and mules.
The contribution of working equines to food security was officially recognised by the UN in livestock recommendations formally endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
Petra Ingram said: “This means that the needs of countless horses, donkeys and mules who have laboured for so long without recognition can no longer be ignored. They’re on the international agenda – giving Brooke a hard-won opportunity to reach more of the world’s 100 million working equines than ever before”
Heralding this new chapter, Brooke launched its new brand in 2016, including the new strapline “Action for working horses and donkeys” to create instant understanding of the charity’s work and the role of animals in the everyday life in a world where less than 20% of people have access to a motor vehicle.
Brooke appointed five new trustees including three from countries where Brooke works, helping to bring Brooke closer to the communities that rely on working animals. Brooke’s new overseas trustees are CEO of Change Alliance in India, Belinda Bennett, CEO of Emerge Africa Ed Rege, based in Kenya, and Cheikh Ly, from Senegal, a veterinary school full tenure professor. The UK trustees are Graeme Cooke, the UK’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer and former Veterinary Director of the World Governing body of Horse Sport (FEI) and Sarah Arnold, a specialist trust and estates solicitor.