In order to build a world where every working animal lives a life free from suffering and is treated with compassion, we need to call upon the support and collaboration of a number of professionals from a variety of different disciplines around the world.
This includes working closely with researchers, who are tasked with developing a better understanding of the conditions that are most likely to effect working animals. This not only allows us to comprehend how best to prevent suffering, but also means we can develop the most effective medicines for treatment, and vaccinations for prevention. Being able to approach as many issues as possible from an evidence-based position is so vital to the longer-term wellbeing of animals and a huge element of SPANA’s work.
Other professionals that are key to delivering the most effective treatment of working animals are farriers. These specialists in equine hoof care recognise how long animals are on their feet every day. Their expertise enables us to tackle some of the most painful and potentially fatal issues that working animals face, all relating to lameness. In 2017, SPANA was able to provide more than 5,000 farriery treatments, each of which meant an animal was either treated for or prevented from experiencing the agonising pain of lameness.
We also rely heavily on the the vital input of teachers and other education professionals from around the world. These professionals allow SPANA to reach children at a young age, teaching the value of kindness before attitudes become fixed. A strong relationship built on care and understanding can transform the life of a working animal – and a healthy, happy, well treated animal can be not just an economic asset but also a lifelong companion. These professionals reached over 60,000 children in 2017 alone and, in the years to come, we intend to do more to reach remote, rural communities where animals work, while also extending our work into new countries allowing us to communicate our message to new audiences.
Our education professionals not only connect with the next generation of animal owners but also work to improve the quality of humane education teaching to adults. Through our community training work, the work carried out by these professionals is helping deliver sustainable changes and prevent avoidable problems – for instance, reducing injuries that occur because of poor husbandry or inappropriate equipment.
SPANA also receives support from veterinary graduates who volunteer their time and skills to help working animals in Morocco, while gaining valuable hands-on experience. This programme is mutually beneficial, enabling our vet teams and the volunteers to share their knowledge, expertise and discuss the latest veterinary techniques and best practice. Following their placements, veterinary graduates often share their experiences, acting as case studies, which is valuable in helping to communicate to UK supporters the vital need for SPANA services. On top of this, these hard-working volunteers will spread the word about SPANA within veterinary communities, so that the plight of working animals around the world is given the level of attention that it deserves.
Whether we’re considering the incredible work of vets based abroad, veterinary graduates travelling overseas to make the most of their newly acquired knowledge, or the network of teachers that delivers SPANA lessons across Africa, SPANA is built on the skills and expertise of hundreds of these dedicated professionals. We could do nothing without them.
To access resources and information about SPANA’s veterinary or education professionals, or to find out more about our outreach funding, please choose a section below.