Horses in Ethiopia drinking water

Ethiopia is a country with over 2.5 million horses. There are struggles with both poverty and severe climatic events.

SPANA has one very busy veterinary clinic in Debre Zeit and two mobile clinics, treating over 11,000 animals in Ethiopia each year. We also have three classrooms and an education centre. Teachers reach over 7,500 children each year with lessons on animal welfare.

The main problems we treat are wounds, lameness, respiratory disease and a terrible fungal infection called EZL.

Vet treating horse in Ethiopia

Ethiopia at a glance

  • Population: 102 million
  • Area: 1.13 million sq km
  • Location: Horn of Africa
  • Capital City: Addis Ababa
  • Estimated number of working equines and camels: 12.2 million

Veterinary Care

  • SPANA started work in Ethiopia in 2002. Our small and dedicated team there were able to provide over 11,000 treatments to working animals last year.
  • One permanent centre in Debre Zeit
  • One Clinical Skills Centre at Debre Zeit University for training young veterinarians
  • Two mobile clinics visiting animals in surrounding towns.
  • The main problems we encounter are animals with wounds, lameness, respiratory disease and a fungal infection called EZL that can be fatal. To help improve the quality of life for the animals we treat in Ethiopia, we provide harness pads for owners to put under their animals’ harnesses to prevent wounds.


Our education work currently consists of a cart horse owner education programme, and a group of after school animal clubs for children where they can learn about animal needs in a fun environment.

  • 2014 marked the official opening of a new animal handling facility at SPANA’s centre in Addis Ababa
  • 9 new SPANA animal clubs began in autumn 2014, with club leaders and head teachers receiving training at our animal handling centre
  • Altogether SPANA Ethiopia reached 7,789 children with animal welfare education in 2017