Livestock in India
Improving animal welfare in the villages
By providing mobile veterinary service clinics and supporting the establishment of local animal welfare groups, together with the local organisation Action for Protection of Wild Animals (APOWA), Welttierschutzgesellschaft (WTG) improves the living conditions of the animals in Odishas’ communities long-term.
In the East Indian state of Odisha, where approximately a third of the population depends on agriculture, animals like cattle, sheep, goats and pigs play a vital role. They help with farm work, are a source of food or a store of value. But if an animal gets ill there is hardly any veterinary care available.
When there are not enough veterinarians available…
Many people living in the villages in Odisha can only hope that prayers and traditional curative treatments such as mud baths or herbal tinctures will improve their livestock’s recovery rate – but the welfare of the animals is not always affected positively by this. Together with our partner organisation APOWA we provide regular veterinary care through mobile vet clinics in the rural areas of Odisha, where the majority of animals has never received veterinary treatment before. Additionally, we educate the animal owners on animal first aid methods so that they themselves know how to ensure a healthy animal.
All-round service for the animals
On 25 days per month, the team, consisting of a veterinarian, an animal handler, who will inform the people about appropriate keeping and nutrition, and several volunteers, travels to the most remote regions in Odisha. Donkeys, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs are examined, de-wormed and given urgently needed vaccinations, for example against blackleg or foot and mouth disease. Here, a small cost is charged. By charging this fee, animal owners are supposed to start being more aware of the fact, that the veterinary treatment by vets or veterinary assistants is a financial responsibility. This is the only way to ensure extensive self-sufficient veterinary care long-term.
The state of health of each individual animal, course of treatment, and medication are documented in detail. Therefore, in subsequent visits the team can evaluate both the treatments efficiency and the impact of our engagement on overall animal health long-term.
Helping people help themselves
To improve animal welfare long-term, the people must be able to see whether their animals are healthy and if not, how to conduct the necessary steps. Therefore, they are taught some basic knowledge in primary care and animal health. They learn about nutrition, care, housing and the necessity of vaccinations and rest periods for cattle and donkeys.
Furthermore, in every community, an Animal Welfare Group is founded. The group analyses the animals’ living conditions and state of health and can suggest required improvements and therapy measures if necessary. For this, we provide each community with a first aid kit, that is re-filled with new medication and materials regularly. In cases where proper veterinary care is needed, an emergency phone number can be called which connects people to the employees at APOWA. Knowledge is regularly exchanged between the different groups and mutual evaluations and quality controls intend to result in a long-term inter-communal animal welfare standard that will affect the animals’ living conditions positively. Since starting this project in December 2016, 55 animal welfare groups have been created. 40 additional groups are currently in the making to ensure the welfare of livestock in even more villages.
Within the first two years of our cooperation with APOWA, more than 22.000 animals were treated and more than 7.500 animal owners educated on animal welfare and animal health topics.
Natural catastrophes: Preparation and help in an emergency
Odisha is affected especially hard by natural catastrophes. There is a reason this region is called the capital of catastrophes of India. Since 2017, we have been supporting our partner organization on numerous occasions with additional emergency relief measures to help the animals, such as livestock but also dogs and cats, after a cyclone time after time causes indescribable damage. According to experts, this situation will worsen increasingly in the future. Thus, knowledge about how to prepare for extreme weather events, the appropriate behavior during such an event and the care of weak and injured animals afterwards, is of utter importance and an essential part of our work with APOWA. APOWA therefore not only helps the people during extreme weather situations, but also educates people on the preparation prior to the emergency situation: Where do I go with my animals? How do I store food for times in need? What medical care do my animals need after a catastrophe? Additionally, selected animal owners are being trained to save animals after such a natural disaster and how to act around scared and injured animals.
Support us in carrying on this important help for the animals in this region and in working together with the animal owners to improve the welfare of the animals.