Stop animal cruelty

SPANA works with animals all over the world; every day our vets treat animals that are suffering.

SPANA treats a huge variety of problems for horses, donkeys, mules and other working animals, from fired wounds to slit nostrils.  It’s a myth to think intentional cruelty is the main cause of suffering for working animal – poor families rely on healthy animals for their livelihoods.

So watch these films to find out the REAL reasons animals suffer.

But what do you think? Join the debate over at

1.  Cultural and superstitions

This horse has not suffered because of animal cruelty.  The problem lies in Mauritania's rich cultural history and a lack of animal welfare knowledge. What do you think, is this animal cruelty?

2.  Preventable disease

Epizootic Lymphanigitis (EZL) affects horses in Ethiopia throughout the year. It is a fungal disease that causes ulcerating blisters, infects the lymph nodes and eventually leads to death. But if treated early enough it needn’t be fatal.

Animal suffering at it's worse, EZL

3.  Poverty and necessity

One donkey, 11km and 150kg of grass.  This is how owners make their living in rural Tunisia and it's the donkey that takes the load.

4.  Unpreventable disease

Skin tumours.  These sarcoids are ulcerated, prone to bleeding, flies and worst of all infections and cause huge suffering to animals around the world.

animal welfare removing the tumours

5. Equipment

There are many reasons a working animal can suffer. Poor fitting harnessing and equipment can cause terrible wounds as this case demonstrates. Is this cruelty and what can SPANA do?

6.  Perceived cruelty.

In Mauritania poverty and poor equipment has lead to owners awful use of a whip to steer their animals, where a simple headcollar would cure the problem.  The wounds were truly horrific – yet paradoxically these seemingly cruel and brutal owners fed their charges extremely well – you almost never see a thin donkey.  Is this animal cruelty?

7.  Injury

Camels are fantastic animals, but they suffer too. A big problem for camels working on the edge of the Sahara is thorns, this poor camel got one lodged in its knee. The SPANA vets were on hand to treat this wonderful creature.

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