A Christmas animation developed by equine charity Brooke has been launched to put a spotlight on the plight of working donkeys around the world.

The animation, supported by actor Pam St Clement, depicts a paper donkey helping at the Christmas dinner table, and aims to remind people in the UK that working animals are not a thing of the past.

“Donkeys have been a familiar feature of Christmas for centuries, but they were also once a familiar feature of rural and urban streets,” said a Brooke spokesman.

“Along with horses and mules, they were the powerhouses driving buses, working in coal mines and carrying food carts in the early 20th Century, and had a major impact in the Frist World War.”

Today, such working equines have largely disappeared from modern life in the UK, but there are still 100 million working horses, donkeys and mules working to provide food, water and a living to 600 million people worldwide.

Pam St Clement, best knowing for playing Pat Butcher in EastEnders, is a supporter of Brooke because of her link to working animals. She was brought up on a hill farm in the 1950s which relied on two heavy horses.

“We had two lovely horses and couldn’t have done without them,” she said. “We didn’t have an alternative. And that’s the reality for so many people living in poorer communities in developing countries.

“I think we often forget that people rely on horses and donkeys to earn a living and put food on the table.”

Make your own Dinky Donkey

Supporters of Brooke can show their support by creating their own origami Dinky Donkey, like the little donkey featured in the charity’s video.

The paper donkey can be added to your Christmas tree, placed in Christmas cards or even given to a loved one during the festive period.

To find out how to create your own donkey, click here.

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