1. Brooke named ‘voice of the equine sector’ by United Nations
Brooke has become the first equine charity to be granted Specialized Consultative Status with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO). This means Brooke will have an increased input to policy affecting working horses, donkeys and mules, championing the recognition of these valuable working animals at UN level.
In 2018 and beyond, Brooke is looking forward to working more directly with the FAO in an official capacity, attending key meetings and conferences as experts on working horses, donkeys and mules, and submitting suggestions to the Director General on programmes that directly affect the animals we work with.
2. ‘BrookeCheck’ app improves the lives of working equines
Brooke has now rolled out the second version of the BrookeCheck tablet app. The app was already being used to measure the emotional and physical wellbeing of the horses, donkeys and mules, and now the digital platform can also be used for conducting surveys into Owner Behaviour Monitoring, which tracks how people interact with their animals, and Brooke’s Animal Health Monitoring Framework, which monitors the work of local vets, farriers and other healthcare providers the charity train through.
The app can be used offline, meaning it can be used in remote locations. The data collected will make it a lot easier to understand how animal welfare problems arise, work out how to fix and prevent them, and monitor how people learn and improve their welfare skills.
Brooke has completed almost 30,000 welfare, owner and service assessments in the last year, the majority using BrookeCheck. The app is kindly part funded by the Petplan Charitable Trust.
3. Vets around the world are learning from each other
At the end of 2017 Brooke held its first Global Animal Health Exchange, where vets from our country programmes around the world travelled to Senegal, Ethiopia and India to share experiences and knowledge and identify common themes in their work.
As Brooke has discovered, animal welfare issues, health systems and interventions can vary massively from country to country. Senior vets in country programmes often know and understand their own context very well, but have not had much opportunity to become familiar with countries outside of their region. The Global
Animal Health Exchange allows vets and others to share ideas and experiences and strengthens Brooke’s global network of Brooke animal health advisors. They are taking the lead to develop policies, and design and implement training programmes.
Brooke teams can also now share and learn online through a private Facebook group – Brooke Vets. Using social media makes sharing of knowledge, ideas and experiences internationally much more accessible.
4. Horse donkey, and mule lovers are making a difference
Brooke’s dedicated supporters will be walking, running, hacking, baking, hosting tea parties and organising other events across the UK. For example, in 2017 Brooke launched MyHackathon, where keen equestrians rode 100 miles in 100 days and raise £100 for the charity. Between them, they raised over £20,000. If you’d like to do it this year, MyHackathon relaunches in March 2018.
If you’d rather do something more relaxed, why not host a New Year dinner party for Brooke. Gather your friends and family together, cook them a delicious home cooked meal and ask them to donate what they would have spent on a takeaway to Brooke. Find out more atthebrooke.org/dinner-party
5. Every Horse Remembered
Brooke’ main campaign for 2018 is called Every Horse Remembered. It marks 100 years since the end of the First World War, when eight million equines, mostly horses and mules, lost their lives serving on the front line. Three quarters of the horses and mules died in the War because of the intense environments they had to work in, rather than shell fire. The sad reality is that these animals are still working in punishing conditions.
Brooke will be sharing stories throughout the year to highlight the heroic struggle of working horses, donkeys and mules of the past and present, and will bring together a community of horse lovers to build better lives for future generations.
Join the movement at thebrooke.org/everyhorse.