The current global pandemic is having a devastating impact on working animals and the communities that depend on them around the world.
The threat of the virus and restrictions on movement and work have meant that many owners in the poorest communities are unable to afford to feed or look after their animals.
This is threatening the survival of many working animals, which are facing severe malnutrition and other problems. Some owners are having to allow their animals to graze on the streets in desperation, but this has led to more animals eating plastic and rubbish, causing an increase in issues such as colic that require urgent veterinary attention.
SPANA teams are working tirelessly in very challenging circumstances, caring for animals within the permitted government guidelines. Wherever possible, our mobile clinics continue to operate and our centres remain open, particularly for emergency cases. Stringent measures and precautions are in place to protect the health of staff, owners and animals – such as distancing, avoiding contact and disinfecting after each appointment.
In Marrakech, Morocco, hundreds of caleche horses are suffering from malnutrition and struggling to survive. These horses usually transport holidaymakers around the bustling medina, but the collapse of the tourist industry due to the pandemic has left owners without an income – and with no means of feeding their animals.
In response to the crisis, SPANA has launched a lifesaving emergency feed programme. Working alongside local partners, we are distributing concentrated feed to a total of 593 horses in Marrakech and the neighbouring town of Aït Ourir.