Panama borders both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean; with a tropical climate and very mountainous terrain horses are used primarily for transport and agricultural purposes and play a crucial part in the country’s economy.
World Horse Welfare has been working in Panama since 2015. Based in Panama City we work with the University of Panama training veterinary students specially to work with equines; these students visit local communities surrounding the city to share their skills and knowledge on first aid, handling and equine welfare.
The University of Panama conducted a study to gain baseline information about the working equids within the five remote communities (174 horses included in the study). This study showed that 60% of working equids have at least 1 injury which is primarily caused by poor harness equipment or hoofing problems. In 2018 we have started a project within these five communities where World Horse Welfare will be training Community Leaders in handling, equine welfare and first aid. We are also training fourteen local people in farriery, which we hope will improve the welfare of the equids, allowing them to better perform in their vital roles.
We want to make a last impact in Panama and have started making links with local government offices such as MIDA (Ministry of Agriculture); we are also working with the Association Panama Medical Vets.