Brooke India is supporting equine-owning communities in the Himalayas with essential veterinary care, as they make the “hazardous” migration to new land for their animals to graze.

Every summer, the Bhotia Tribe in the State of Uttarakhand travel with their livestock to the Bugyals, remote pastures in the Himalayan Mountains, as the largest equine-owning community in the region. These animals are used to transport resources, travel and camping equipment, facing difficult conditions with elevations ranging from 10 to 13 thousand feet and extreme temperature conditions.

Brooke India, with the support of local Government Veterinary and Livestock Extension Officers, have set up a camp offering health check-ups for the Bhotia Tribe’s equines, including hoof trimming, deworming and emergency treatments before they travel.

Brooke also gives first aid training to the community, offers medical kits and helps to prepare for animal health emergencies.

“As the largest equine-owning community in this area, it is very important for Brooke to support the Bhotia Tribe, who are in need of economic support and veterinary services. We walk very closely with this community, to help improve the wellbeing of equines and their owners,” said Lovely Zogta, Senior Program Leader of Funds and Communications at Brooke India.

Dr Kimmi Thapa is Project Officer at Brooke India and is leading the Equine Welfare Project in Uttarakhand. She she shared her experience when assisting with the migration.

“The journey to the Bhotia Tribe’s remote summer abode is arduous,” she said. “The community stays at this higher altitude for about six months, away from main civilisation. The remote location makes it difficult for the tribe to access medicines or veterinary care for their equines. With the intervention of health camps on the way to the Bugyals, we ensure equine well-being and health. The tribe is equipped with resources and treatment methods, so that they can offer better care to their equines during times of sickness or emergency.”

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