Supporting the Equids Helping to Rebuild Lives in Mexico
On 7th September the Southern Coast of Mexico was struck by a devastating earthquake (magnitude 8.2 on the Richter scale). The municipality of Juchitan de Zaragoza is home to more than 250,000 people and the earthquake left a third of the region’s houses completely destroyed.
Many families are now without homes, forced to sleep under tarpaulins in the streets and are as yet unable to return to their normal daily lives and work.
In this desperate time, the region’s working equids are playing a vital role in the huge clean-up operation following the quake’s devastation. In the city of Juchitan, there are many rubbish collectors who use horse drawn carts to shift debris from the many narrow streets which are impassable by motor vehicles.
Whilst thousands of people are depending on these horses, donkeys and mules to help them rebuild their homes and lives, equine welfare is suffering due to the added workload and lack of available food. Working with The Donkey Sanctuary, representatives from our Oaxaca project and the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM) visited the area to provide support to the local municipalities, livestock association and vets as well as delivering much-needed forage and hard feed for the working equids.
In the first phase the team have helped almost 500 working equids and the clean-up operation still has a way to go.
The most predominant problem identified so far is wounds that the equids are suffering as a result of the extra loads they are carrying and in some cases poorly fitting or inadequate harnesses. Our team is not only providing veterinary treatment to equids suffering wounds but also working with owners to educate them on wound care and correct harness fitting.
All horses were examined by the team; medication was administered or applied for treating wounds and they were given vitamin injections to help the equids deal with the extra work they are undertaking. Malnutrition is a key problem, with the weakest equids treated by IV drips and vital supplies of feed and forage provided to help owners give their working horses the energy they need to keep healthy and continue in their essential work.
Without these equids, the clean-up operation simply wouldn’t be possible in many areas of the region and by helping their owners give them the care they need, we are not only supporting horses, donkeys and mules but also helping many families to rebuild their lives.
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