Noor’s Story

Noor, an elderly mule, spends her days carting bricks around hectic and hot Marrakech. She works long hours carrying building supplies for her owner Mettat. As Noor ages, her work becomes heavier and more exhausting.

Sadly, in the last few months, daily life has become more than difficult for Noor – it’s been unbearable.

Crippling arthritis has caused Noor to become lame in her front left leg. Putting any weight on it is excruciating. To ease her pain, Noor has begun walking with a limp, only using her front right leg. This has caused her left hoof to grow much longer than the right, which is making walking even more difficult and unimaginably painful.

Mettat hasn’t ignored his animal’s suffering. He believes he has helped to treat it. But, sadly, the oil he applied as a traditional ‘cure’ to alleviate Noor’s lameness only intensified, and prolonged her pain. His ‘cure’ was meant to heal, but only caused further misery for poor Noor.

In many communities around the world, there is no awareness of animal welfare or access to modern veterinary services. So, harmful practices continue to be passed down through the generations. And it’s working animals that suffer the brutal consequences. Eliminating these outdated practices will prevent the agonising pain inflicted on animals like Noor.

Mettat used a traditional medicine, oil made from burning wood, on Noor’s lame leg. He believed it had anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, the oil burned through Noor’s skin. This practice can leave raw, sore burns that increase the risk of infection, putting a working animal’s life at risk.

Please help us stop these misguided practices – and save working animals from agonising pain.

How SPANA helped Noor

When Mettat brought Noor to the SPANA centre, the mule could barely move. First, our expertly trained vets asked Mettat to clean the oil from his mule. Then they carefully trimmed Noor’s hooves to a healthy length and prescribed a course of anti-inflammatories to treat her immediate pain.

Importantly, our vets explained the dangers of using traditional practices to Mettat and advised him to bring his animals to SPANA in future to receive treatment. It’s deeply saddening to think that if only he’d brought Noor to SPANA immediately, rather than using traditional medicine, our vets could have treated her straight away and her condition would not have deteriorated.

Tragically, too many working animals are suffering as a result of these harmful traditions. By donating to this vital appeal, you could relieve their pain today – and help stop tomorrow’s misguided practices.

Traditional ‘cures’ are used in many of the developing countries where SPANA works. In Mauritania, for example, burning engine oil is used to ‘heal’ wounds. In Tunisia, some owners slice their donkeys’ nostrils open with a knife, as they think it will help them breathe easier – and work harder. And in Indonesia, when a horse is crippled, they might have their leg perforated with a bamboo stick in the tragically mistaken belief that it will help them walk again.

SPANA needs your support to treat animals affected by these dangerous practices and to educate owners to stop carrying them out.

To speak to our friendly supporter care team please visit our contact us page and get in touch.