Monday, 15 April 2024
Monday, 15 April 2024

Charity celebrates 100 years of improving the lives of working animals

SPANA – the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad – officially celebrates 100 years of supporting the welfare of working animals. SPANA was the world’s first global charity dedicated to supporting working animal welfare in low-income countries. 

Today, 100 years on, SPANA is transforming the lives of working animals – such as donkeys, horses, camels, mules and oxen – in 23 countries across the world. The charity is making a significant impact and SPANA’s achievements are receiving global recognition. For instance:

  • Last year, a new ‘SPANA Road’ was opened in the Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, in West Africa, in recognition of the charity’s longstanding contribution to animal welfare throughout the country.
  • In the same year, SPANA signed an agreement with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in Zimbabwe to run animal welfare clubs throughout the country.
  • In recent weeks, SPANA responded to the devastating earthquake in the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Hundreds of injured and abandoned animals received lifesaving emergency treatment, feed and water as part of SPANA’s most ambitious emergency response in its 100-year history.

In its centenary year, SPANA has launched its new five-year strategy. The central ambition of the new strategy is to expand the charity’s reach and impact and deliver a sustainable transformation to the welfare of working animals.

SPANA was founded by pioneering British mother and daughter, Kate and Nina Hosali, who travelled across North Africa in the early 1920s. As they toured the souks and rural communities of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, they were struck by the poor conditions and neglect of many of the working animals they encountered. These included working donkeys, horses and camels, who were often malnourished, suffering from wounds and carrying excessive loads. The lives of these working animals were hard. With no access to professional veterinary care, they had to carry on despite their injuries, working through the pain.

Following their return to Britain, Kate and Nina decided that working animals deserved better than a life of suffering – and felt compelled to act. On 2 October 1923, they established SPANA and set about creating a more compassionate world for working animals.

From the beginning, SPANA’s work combined the treatment of working animals in need with the training of owners in good animal care and the education of children about animal welfare. The charity’s global education programme was formally established by Nina Hosali in 1930.

The charity’s work has expanded globally and, today, SPANA helps working animals in vulnerable communities across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Last year, the charity provided vital care and support to 306,412 working animals. In 2022, SPANA also taught animal welfare lessons to 87,241 children and provided training in animal care to 89,924 working animal owners.

Linda Edwards, Chief Executive of SPANA, said:

“SPANA is marking this incredible milestone of 100 years of helping working animals in need. We are celebrating the vital difference the charity has made to the lives of generations of working animals over the past century and recognising the remarkable legacy of our founders, Kate and Nina Hosali.

“The world has changed so much since Kate and Nina began the work that we continue to this day. But what hasn’t changed is our determination to build a better future for working animals.

“The need for SPANA’s work is greater today than ever. The welfare of working animals is under severe threat from major global challenges such as climate change, increased political and economic instability, and rising global poverty.

“As we celebrate 100 years of SPANA’s critical work, we are looking to the future and are focused on delivering a true and lasting transformation to the lives of working animals across the world.”

For more information please visit: www.spana.org.

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