The Brooke USA, the American fundraising arm of the Brooke, has announced a pilot project in Mexico to help horses working in a garbage dump and recycling center in San Martin, Puebla State. The horses are some of the most vulnerable of the 12.8 million working equids in Mexico.

Horses, donkeys, and mules in Mexico are used for agriculture, construction, mining, tourism, and transportation, and they support peoples’ lives by helping them to earn a living. But despite this, there is little support for people to effectively care for their animals. In this important pilot project, which could ultimately affect thousands of working equines across Mexico, the Brooke is partnering with a local organization, Fundación Dejando Huella. They will begin by helping around 200 horses working at the main garbage dump and recycling site in the city of San Martin Texmelucan de Labastida.

The Brooke team is still studying the area to find out what the main welfare problems are, but from early observations it appears that many of the animals are suffering from bit and harness lesions and poor hoof and body condition. The project is designed to focus on improving and increasing the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the horse owners and the animal health providers who work at the site, so they can create a long-lasting environment of good welfare.

“We’re so pleased to be expanding into Mexico during 2016,” said Petra Ingram, chief executive of the Brooke. “We did a lot of research to learn where our work would benefit the most working equines, and this could be the start of a bigger project. There are millions more horses, donk