Charity launches emergency feeding campaign

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TheBrookehas launched an emergencyfeedingprogramme for hundreds of starving horses in drought-stricken Nicaragua.

Too little, too late

Rain fell for the first time in eight months last week, but it is a case of too little, too late and the grazing will not recover in time to save the animals.

“More and more owners started coming to us saying that they couldn’tfeedtheir horses, so we knew we had to take action,” said Dr Maria Elena Solorzano, aBrookevet working in Nicaragua.

“If we don’t startfeedingnow, animals will die. This has a huge impact on local communities.”

Sustainable solutions

Horses in Nicaragua often provide the only source of income for families, so if they get ill or die the families suffer as a direct consequence.

TheBrookehas worked in Nicaragua since 2013 training owners in equine welfare. While the charity’s aim is to provide sustainable welfare solutions for the horses, it also offers emergency relief when needed. As such, they are distributing over 7,500 bales of pressed hay to over 420 horses.

Part of the family

Trinidad Garcia from La Ceibita, Masaya, uses her horse to plough the field, transport vegetables and carry water from a well to her house.

“The drought is one of the worst I’ve seen – our animals are starving and I’m scared about what is going to happen,” she said. “Chinga is an important part of our family. She helps us with everything and I don’t know how we could survive without her.”

The charity is also assessing body condition at the start and end of thefeedingprogramme. The aim of the month-long campaign is to ensure the horses are well enough to continue their work and support their owners.