SPANA Ethiopia Country Director Dr Nigatu treating horse

SPANA’s chief executive Jeremy Hulme on the struggle of malnourished animals…

There can be few of us who can honestly say they have never felt hungry.

I can remember clearly as a soldier, there were times when rations didn’t turn up for some reason or other – yet we were still required to continue with often gruelling work – a long jeremy-hulmemarch, or ‘digging in’, or merely being on sentry at night in the cold and rain. I certainly remember the extra strain of a lack of food, how energy drained away, with often a feeling of lightheadedness and some men feeling faint and dizzy.

And that is just after a couple of days, so it is not difficult to imagine the struggle so many working animals have in the countries where SPANA works, when exhausting daily work is demanded of them, with minimum feed to sustain it.

Aching hunger will be constant – with a draining lack of energy – yet theyresize are driven on by whips and beatings to strain every limb and muscle to the end of their ability.

Yet, though we are roused to anger by that, when you look at the drivers and owners and families of these poor animals, you can see that hunger and malnutrition is a daily battle for them as well.

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