NUL, NGO col­lab­o­rate on horses wel­fare

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

THE Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Le­sotho (NUL), World Horse Wel­fare and Agri­cul­ture Min­istry re­cently signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) for the com­mence­ment of a three-year project to im­prove the care and wel­fare of horses and don­keys in the coun­try.

World Horse Wel­fare is an in­ter­na­tional horse char­ity ded­i­cated to the care of horses in the United King­dom and other parts of the world through education, cam­paign­ing and hands-on care. Founded in 1927, they use a prac­ti­cal ap­proach based on sci­en­tific ev­i­dence and ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence to de­liver last­ing change across the full spec­trum of the horse world.

The en­vis­aged project aims to cater for up to 5 000 horses and don­keys with ad­di­tional train­ing and sup­port be­ing pro­vided to 80 district ex­ten­sion staff and other gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

World Horse Wel­fare Re­gional Co­or­di­na­tor in South Africa, Penny Ward said the project in the Maseru and Mafeteng Dis­tricts would in­clude reg­u­lar clin­ics to treat an­i­mals as well as train­ing to help gov­ern­ment ex­ten­sion of­fi­cials and horse own­ers to pro­vide proper care.

Ms Ward said very lit­tle care was pro­vided de­spite the fact that horses and don­keys played a cen­tral role in ru­ral house­holds as mode of trans­port and as a sig­nif­i­cant cul­tural sym­bol of the Ba­sotho na­tion.

“Very lit­tle at­ten­tion is ever paid to the wel­fare of these an­i­mals,” Ms Ward said, adding, “Due to their re­mote lo­ca­tion where there is no ac­cess to ser­vices and med­i­ca­tion, many an­i­mals suf­fer from cur­able dis­eases, un­treated in­juries, un­suit­able tack and poor nu- tri­tion”.

“Un­til now, there were no projects in Le­sotho to pro­mote care and wel­fare of horses and don­keys and they mostly go un­no­ticed by gov­ern­ment and pol­icy mak­ers.

“By work­ing to­gether, NUL and World Horse Wel­fare aim to shine the spot­light on these in­vis­i­ble an­i­mals to get them the help they need,” Ms Ward said.

She said lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties would be able to bring their an­i­mals to the reg­u­lar com­mu­nity wel­fare clin­ics for treat­ment and de­worm­ing.

She said the pub­lic would also re­ceive ad­vice and education about an­i­mal hus­bandry.

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