Helping Working Animals in India

In one of the world’s largest and most populated countries, many people rely on horses and camels for tourism and transportation to earn a small income. We’re working in India to treat working animals in need, to train owners in animal care and to teach children to respect and care for the working animals that have such a vital role in their daily lives. 

India at a glance

  • Population: 1.38 billion 
  • Area: 3,287,263 square km 
  • Location: Asia 
  • Capital city: New Delhi 
  • Estimated number of working animals (including cattle): 195,382,649 
  • Number of mobile clinics: Three 
  • Number of working animals treated in 2021: 12,819 
  • Number of animal owners trained in 2021: 1,688 
  • Number of children receiving humane education in 2021: 718 

Our work in India

Working in the north and east of India, our mobile veterinary clinics treat thousands of working animals a year, particularly camels and cattle. In the north of the country, two mobile clinics provide free veterinary care to camels, replacing traditional nose pegs with more humane versions, and fitting cart reflectors to reduce road accidents. In the east of the country, our mobile clinic helps sick and injured cattle. 

As well as helping working animals, we train communities and animal owners in humane care, so that they know how to look after their animals properly. Our teams also make regular visits to camel fairs and brick kilns, to advise owners and encourage them to avoid traditional practices that can be harmful to the health and wellbeing of their animals. 

We also teach children to develop their knowledge of animals through animal welfare education. 

Working on the ground in India, we’re able to act swiftly if an emergency strikes. In 2021, in response to the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, we carried out an emergency feeding programme in eastern India to provide much-needed nutritious feed to horses and camels suffering from malnutrition. In 2019 and 2018, we provided lifesaving emergency veterinary care to animals seriously impacted by cyclones. Thanks to your continued support, we were able to be on the ground as soon as the cyclones had passed to ensure animals were cared for when they needed us the most. 

Gobi the camel gets the help he needs

Gobi the camel usually gives rides to tourists in the city of Pushkar, India, 145km south-west of Jaipur. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse of the tourist industry, 10-year-old Gobi has been carrying out a variety of manual jobs to support his owner Happu and his family.

After Gobi lost his usually very healthy appetite and began scratching himself frequently, Happu became increasingly worried about his camel’s health. Gobi had also developed some small sores where his saddle was rubbing into his delicate skin.

Happu took Gobi to the SPANA mobile clinic in Pushkar for a full check-up and treatment as soon as he possibly could. At the clinic, SPANA vets were able to see Gobi straight away and diagnosed him as suffering from harness wounds and external parasites. The vets carefully cleaned and covered each of his small sores with an antiseptic solution, and administered an antibiotic injection to prevent infection. Gobi was then treated with an anti-parasite spray and given a nourishing feed.

The vets showed Happu how to secure and fasten Gobi’s saddle correctly, using new, soft padding, so that it would be comfortable and not cause Gobi any further discomfort.

Happu said: ‘I was very worried about my camel. This is the first time I have brought him to a SPANA mobile clinic. It is a blessing that there is no charge for this treatment at such a difficult time.’ 

Other countries we work in

Helping working animals in Tunisia

Find out more about how SPANA helps working animals in Tunisia.

Helping working animals in South Africa

Read about how SPANA is helping working animals in South Africa.

Helping working animals in Indonesia

Find out more about how SPANA helps working animals in Indonesia.

Helping working animals in Tunisia

Find out more about how SPANA helps working animals in Tunisia.

Helping working animals in South Africa

Read about how SPANA is helping working animals in South Africa.

Helping working animals in Indonesia

Find out more about how SPANA helps working animals in Indonesia.