Q&A with SPANA Morocco Country Director Professor Hassan Alyakine
How long have you worked with SPANA?
I started working with SPANA in 1991 at our veterinary centre in Rabat, located about 320km (200 miles) north of Marrakech. I was then responsible for the SPANA centre in Casablanca between 2008 and 2013. I was appointed Country Director for Morocco in January 2014.
What role do working animals play in Morocco?
As in many other African countries, donkeys, horses and mules continue to play a crucial role in the life of often impoverished communities and in the country’s economy. They remain an important means of traction in agriculture and are also used to transport goods and people, both in rural areas and around major cities.
Why is SPANA’s work important in Morocco?
The work that SPANA has been doing in Morocco for decades is invaluable, helping working animals and the communities that depend on them. This has contributed a lot to improving animal welfare.
What have been your biggest achievements?
Working animals face very significant problems, such as harness injuries and lameness, but these problems are often compounded by the lack of appropriate animal welfare legislation. That’s why one of SPANA’s greatest achievements in recent years was to contribute to the development of local laws for the protection of carriage horses in Aït Ourir, near Marrakech, and mules used in tourism in Imlil, in the High Atlas Mountains. These two initiatives have greatly improved animal welfare. Similarly, SPANA was able to help working animals
and their owners throughout the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic by providing emergency feed.
Do you have a message for SPANA supporters?
Enormous thanks to all SPANA supporters! Without your help and support, none of our work could be accomplished.