SPANA is to use mobile clinics to visit villages in the provinces of Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Masvingo and Midlands to improve the health and welfare of thousands of working donkeys.

A British animal charity is to provide veterinary services for some of Zimbabwe’s poorest communities.
 
It is estimated that there are at least 175,000 working donkeys in the villages that SPANA will visit as part of the new service.SPANA (the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) is working in the country to establish services to improve the health and welfare of thousands of working donkeys, which are increasingly relied upon for agriculture, trade and transport in rural areas where around 95 per cent of the population live in poverty.
 
The charity is to use mobile clinics to carry out the service, which will visit villages in the provinces of Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Masvingo and Midlands, where it is estimated that there are at least 175,000 working donkeys.
 
SPANA is also to provide training to “hundreds” of government veterinary extension assistants in equine husbandry and health care, improving the services they can provide for animals in their communities.
 
SPANA’s director of veterinary programmes, Andy Stringer, said: “Our new programme will be helping some of Zimbabwe’s poorest people, many of whom depend on working animals to earn a living. Communities have limited access to veterinary treatment for their animals, but through providing vet services, training animal health professionals and using community development initiatives, we hope to make this a thing of the past.
 
“We’re aiming for a future where we have developed the capacity of local services providers to deliver animal health care, as well as starting to change the attitudes and behaviours of animal owners through education. However, we will need as much support as we can get over the next few years and are appealing for funds to help this programme to continue.”
 
The veterinary services will be provided in association with Zimbabwean charity AWARE Trust, which for the past three years has been funded by SPANA through its small grants programme.
 
For more information about SPANA’s work in Zimbabwe or to make a donation, visit the charity’s website.

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