The actor, who is best known for playing DCI Barnaby in the hit ITV series, leant his voice to the advert which supports Brooke’s recent campaign highlighting the terrible conditions suffered by donkeys working in coal mines.
John is a self-confessed animal lover and owns several horses and two rescue donkeys. He said:
“I heard about Brooke a few years ago, and since then I’ve learnt about some of the brilliant and vital action they’re taking worldwide to help working horses, donkeys and mules – training vets, providing treatment and working to improve animal welfare policy.”
The advert tells the harrowing story of Chittoo, just one of thousands of donkeys working in the dark and claustrophobic environment of the Pakistan coal mines. The equines and their owners work in deep narrowtunnels, and are in extreme danger of injuries, malnutrition and dehydration. The advert is running on various TV channels and is on Brooke’s Youtube channel. View the advert here.
“I have always loved equines, and our home is a refuge for them. We have seven horses, all rescues, and two donkeys called Achilles and Hector. Maybe because of the spiritual significance, I think people expect donkeys to be stoic and solemn but they’re children really – funny, playful and above all curious. They are so beautiful and make getting up in the morning worthwhile. I was delighted to do this voiceover for them and hope it helps to raise more awareness of the plight of working horses, donkeys and mules overseas.”
115,000 of Pakistan’s 4.7m horses, donkeys and mules work in these treacherous coal mines every day. Brooke works with local vets and service providers to improve welfare problems such as lesions and exhaustion due to overloading, and dehydration. The charity also provides training and support to equine owning communities to allow them to make their own appraisal and, analysis and plans.
To help, go to www.thebrooke.org/chittoo.