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City of Banjul
Friday, September 25, 2020

Charity celebrates 12 years of helping horses and donkeys in The Gambia

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At The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust they believe education is the key to progress and improvement, and aim to educate the Gambian farmers in good equine care and management practises to reduce the incidences of avoidable equine injuries and illness. They also work to improve human-animal relationships and promote compassion towards the animals by running regular farmers meetings and school education programmes to teach correct care and management of their horses and donkeys. The Trust provides veterinary treatments to equines by providing mobile veterinary clinics in the surrounding area or they offer hospitalisation at their centre to equines that require more intensive or lengthy treatments.

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This year Gambia Horse and Donkey have had an influx of orphan foals, both horses and donkeys. Each foal costs about £500 to rear and needs milk powder for several months along with rice bran hay, young horse supplements and medicines. This puts the Trust in a difficult position as the cost of raising a foal is almost more than the cost of buying a horse in Gambia but none of their staff can ever bring themselves to turn their backs on these little creatures that need their help so badly.

Although technically not a sanctuary, there are several permanent residents who have either been too badly injured to have a working life again or are too old to work. The latest patient is an elderly donkey, who has been named Horace, who had been abandoned in the local town of Farafenni . Gambia Horse and Donkey were alerted to his plight by tourists and also a number of Gambians, he was in extremely poor condition but transport was arranged for him to go to the centre for a full and thorough assessment including blood testing. Charity Director, Heather Armstrong, said “At least we know we have done our best for him and that the rest of his days will be filled with kindness and food. We are hoping that he may be able to enjoy some well  deserved retirement with us”.

If anyone would be interested in learning more about the work of The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust, to help to raise funds to support the foals or animals such as Horace, to make a donation or sponsor an animal, please contact www.gambiahorseanddonkey.org.uk or facebook.com/gambiahorseanddonkey.

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